Thanks to the Burger-Roy Family Charitable Trust and Campbell’s True Value, Pine Tree Camp will soon become home to a new greenhouse.
The 21-by-36-foot structure will welcome campers of all abilities inside to actively care for and learn about plants. The size of the greenhouse will provide ample space with wide aisles for wheelchairs and tables of different heights. The greenhouse will be adjacent to the barn, providing a link between the farm animals and surrounding land.
“This addition to our campus gives us the chance to expand our environmental education and stewardship programming in ways we would not be able to do otherwise,” said Dawn Willard-Robinson, director of Pine Tree Camp. “The greenhouse provides a home base for that program to exist.”
Whether it’s learning how to feed and care for animals, planting a garden, or seeing firsthand how plants and trees support the ecosystem and health of North Pond, campers will now have even more opportunities to connect with nature in unique and meaningful ways that impact their lives all year-round.
“Anytime campers have the opportunity to care for something or someone else is really important,” noted Mary Schafhauser, assistant camp director of Pine Tree Camp. “People with disabilities are often the ones being taken care of so the chance to care for a farm animal, water the garden, or help a fellow camper in the greenhouse gives them the opportunity to show what they can do and provides a huge sense of independence.”
The sensory aspect the greenhouse provides is also important.
“Anytime you can do something with your hands outside it brings you closer to nature,” continued Mary. “In the greenhouse campers will be able to touch, smell, feel and taste the plants as they grow. That experience will cultivate a deeper sense of ownership in camp.”
Like the building of the barn, the construction of the greenhouse will be completed by volunteers. CMP Employee Volunteers participated in the barn raising in 2019 and are volunteering to build the greenhouse as well.
“What makes Pine Tree Camp stand out is that it provides a fully accessible camp experience for both children and adults,” said Mary Brayall, Lead Analyst – Social Projects for the Avangrid Foundation. “The greenhouse is the type of project we love because it will serve countless campers over many years to come. It is something permanent with a long-lasting impact. Our employee volunteers put in the time now and the reward goes on and on and on.”
New greenhouse will officially open in spring 2022.