Students neglect inconvenient greenhouse

A dying plant in the greenhouse next to King hall. (Julian Kennedy)

A dying plant in the greenhouse next to King hall. (Julian Kennedy)

If you are not a plant enthusiast, you may not have noticed Guilford College’s greenhouse. Located between the library and the left side of King hall, Bailes Greenhouse has been a place where students and staff members store plants, observe growth patterns and conduct different types of tests to understand what affects the way plants grow. It was donated by an alumnus and built in the early 1970s.

“The greenhouse provides opportunities for student and faculty research, and also serves as a depository of typical vascular plants for observation and study,” according to the Guilford College Web site.” In the past it has been used for projects in both the biology and geology departments.”

But it seems that nowadays, the greenhouse is not being used to its full potential.

“The greenhouse is not put to good use at all,” said junior Biology major Max Scott. “If you have the ambition to work on a project it’s open to use, but right now nobody’s taking advantage of it.”

According to Assistant Professor of Geology Angela Moore, the greenhouse is generally used only for storing houseplants in the winter, and not for more scientific purposes like soil testing.

Perhaps the biggest reason for the neglect of the greenhouse is its location. King hall used to be Guilford’s main science building.

But since the construction of the Frank Family Science Center, the majority of science classes are held in that building, making it inconvenient for professors to conduct experiments that would utilize the greenhouse.

“It’s a pain to have to lug all that equipment from Frank to King,” Moore said.

Lynn Moseley, Professor of Biology, said she would love to have a new greenhouse built on campus, preferably located closer to the Frank Family Science Center.

“It would be nice to have a greenhouse in a more convenient location. For now, we’ll have to wait for someone with a million

dollars to give us,” she chuckled.

While it would be nice to have a new and improved greenhouse on campus, that’s unlikely to happen if students aren’t taking advantage of what they have now.

If the old greenhouse were put to better use, there would be a demonstrated need for a new one, and its construction would be more likely to be considered by a donor.