At a recent event, Bastyr University faculty, students and local leaders celebrated the opening of the school’s new teaching greenhouse.
Bastyr President Dr. Charles “Mac” Powell said the greenhouse is one part of what makes the university unique.
“Every day is an opportunity for us to build a better university, to build a better community,” he said.
The greenhouse is meant to be a “living classroom,” providing education and resources for both Bastyr students and the general public.
Funding for the greenhouse came from donations from a variety of sources, including the Seattle Rotary Foundation; the estate of Agnes L. Cash, grandmother of Sheila Kingsbury, the chair of Bastyr’s botanical medicine department; the Snoqualmie Tribe and the Tulalip Tribe Charitable Fund.
At the dedication ceremony for the greenhouse, Kingsbury reflected on her family’s history in the florist business. As a girl, she would spend hours in her great-grandmother’s greenhouse in Illinois.
“It was the coolest greenhouse anyone like me could ask for,” she said, sharing that there was an underground tunnel that connected it to her great-grandmother’s home.
Four generations of women in Kingsbury’s family worked there and her mother even went into labor with her while working in the greenhouse.
Opening the greenhouse was a six-year process. It is part of the Sacred Seeds Project, which Bastyr launched in 2011. Kingsbury played a major role in getting the greenhouse project going and she was acknowledged by Powell at the dedication.
“Sheila really is the brains, heart and brawn behind what we do at the university,” Powell said.
The greenhouse is just one piece of the university’s extensive gardens, which also include an ethnobotanical trail, production beds, a reflexology footpath and a shade house.
For more information about the greenhouse, visit bastyr.edu.