It is a specific challenge to access fresh fruits and vegetables in a rural Wyoming town such as Pinedale. Extreme temperature variation, unexpected storms, and a short growing season all combine to make growing specialty crops a difficult task. The protection from the elements that a Hoop House and Growing Dome offers, allows an opportunity to start crops sooner, continue them longer, and successfully yield specialty crops.
The students at Children’s Discovery Center learn through nature with a very hands-on approach. A hoop house gives opportunities for the students to actively engage in all stages involved with gardening in a sub-alpine climate. While gaining a first-hand understanding of local food production through sharing the wealth of crop at the local Farmer’s Market. From construction of the structures (Hoop House and Growing Dome), prepping the soil, choosing seeds, planting, watering, and tending, the students are hands-on; the full circle completed with them prepping and eating the crops during meals and cooking class.
The students at the CDC are lucky enough to have such structures (Growing Dome built in 2013 and Hoop House built in 2017) that do allow us to grow in this Rocky Mountain climate. This program helps establish healthy behaviors that have a lifelong impact on the child's quality of life.
In September 2017, the CDC received a grant from the Wyoming Department of Education to build a 12 X 20 Hoop House. In addition to the funds given to build the structure, the CDC received all other materials on donation. Construction of Hoop House was led by Wyoming Extension office, Jeff Edwards, and assisted by Lion's Club members, Parent Volunteers and CDC Staff. The black weed barrier was donated by Fred Petersen of Petersen Landscaping, the rock was donated by Lance Biffle with Teletractors, the beautiful raised beds were built and donated by Jesse Lake and Tyler Sluyter with Sluyter Construction, and the soil was donated at 1/2 price by Wind River Gardens. We are so thankful for our community and the donations received!
This geodesic dome was built in 2013 and is a year-round solar-powered greenhouse.
The Growing Spaces Project was made possible by sponsorship from Shell. Shell Exploration & Production Company not only provided financial backing for the greenhouse but also provided dedicated workers for the weekend work party!
The Children's Discovery Center also received a "Great Conservation Idea" grant from the Sublette County Conservation District and EnCana Oil & Gas, USA.
Thank you to all our contributors, our volunteers, and our dedicated community!