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Grant will allow Bridgewater College to build Hoop House

bridgewaterBridgewater College’s student- and faculty-maintained community garden will expand its growing and production season thanks to a $500 Thirty in 30 grant from Keep Virginia Beautiful (KVB).

The grant – part of KVB’s “30 Grants in 30 Days” program – will help fund the construction of a “hoop house” – a greenhouse with a rounded top and a removable protective coating which allows an earlier start to growing and a longer season to maintain the garden.

Bridgewater’s community garden provides fresh vegetables that are used in its dining hall. The garden also gives students the chance to engage directly in planting and harvesting food.

“Growing your own food gives you such an insight into the natural cycles of life,” said Dr. Robyn A. Puffenbarger, associate professor of biology at Bridgewater. “Students are often surprised that we can only plant certain crops like carrots and greens like spinach, hardy lettuce varieties and bunching onions in fall for late winter or early spring harvest.  The hoop house will allow us to grow more tender varieties all winter long.”

KVB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging and uniting Virginians to improve the commonwealth’s natural and scenic environment. Its Thirty in 30 grant program focuses resources and attention on organizations and individual localities throughout the commonwealth and how they address the issues of litter prevention, recycling, waste reduction, beautification and education.

The Thirty in 30 grants are made possible by Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation and the financial support of individual Virginians.

Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to approximately 1,750 undergraduate students.

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