New Greenhouse for KBIC Restoration

By jan schultz on Jul 7, 2010

USFS Botanist Jan Schultz visits greenhouse 6-15-10. Courtesy KBIC NRD.

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Increases Native Plant Restoration with New Greenhouse

Restoring pollinator-friendly native plants to the Upper Peninsula is the outcome and product of a sixteen-foot tall solar-powered geodesic dome greenhouse built in the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC). Volunteer greenhouse builder Rich Trudell explained that the new KBIC greenhouse is one of the first of its kind located on a Native America reservation.

The greenhouse will grow a wide-range of plants indigenous to the Upper Peninsula, starting with the most "cooperative" native species. This new KBIC facility thus provides additional tools to help restore damaged lands, new educational and recreational opportunities to members of all ages, and hands-on experience in the very important tasks of healing the earth.

Allan Werthan, crew supervisor for the Growing Spaces Co. explained that with three solar-powered cooling fans attached to two PVC solar panels on the dome the inside temperature remains constant in the summer. The dome's exterior is covered with translucent polycarbonite panels and the north side has additional Reflectix insulation to keep it warm in winter. The greenhouse is designed for plants to grow year-round with solar energy by storing the heat of the day in a 2,000 gallon water tank that dissipates that heat slowly at night.

The KBIC greenhouse is one of several native plant and pollinator protection projects of the Zaagkii Wings and Seeds Project initiated by the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute and the Forest Service Eastern Region. In Anishinaabemowin, Zaagkii means "that which comes from the earth."