The greenhouse at Eastern Michigan University is back to regular hours and welcomes the community to take a look at the plants they offer, after closing off to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the pandemic was at its height the doors of the greenhouse weren’t open for their regular hours, classes and clubs weren’t in there either. The plants kept growing, but no one was there to see their growth.
The greenhouse is back to the familiarity of being open on most days from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Last year nearly every activity on campus was diminished in size and that included the availability to visit the greenhouse. While the greenhouse was still open for classes, not many visited.
“It’s nice to have visitors again,“ Brad Cross, the greenhouse facilitator, said. “Class visits have already doubled just this past month.”
The ability to open the greenhouse doors has not only let classes work in the greenhouse again, but the Botany Club is able to resume their club activities.
The greenhouse was built in 1997 by Ludy Greenhouses, and Brad has been the facilitator since 2016. The greenhouse has hundreds of different plants in all kinds of places. From various types of tradescantia to huge varieties of monsteras. There are hundreds of potted plants on tables and plants growing all along the floor, and even up the walls.
The greenhouse has several rooms, each having a different function. The first room is an area where you can sign the guest log and look at plants that are being grown for different classes. As well in the front room, there is an informal plant sale that sells plants anywhere from $1 to $15, the plants on the table vary, depending on what’s been growing.
The back room of the greenhouse is the conservatory which is where the bulk of the plants are located. As soon as guests walk in they’ll be greeted by an enormous rubber tree over their heads and aisles of different plants in front of them. The conservatory has a study table where people can relax and do homework or look at hundreds of amazing plants.
Just like any indoor location at EMU, masks are required at all times in the greenhouse and a COVID entry form should be filled out prior to entering.
There’s no time like the present to start caring for a plant, Cross said. Caring for plants only takes a small amount of research and it has the potential to liven up a space and someone's mood, he said.
Those interested can follow the greenhouse on their Facebook page at EMU Greenhouse, as well as check-in at the greenhouse during their hours of operation to see all their available plants.