By Julia Vodyanyuk
Algonquin’s greenhouse and horticulture program is getting a facelift this year due to greenhouse high heating costs, industry demand and savings in the program.
The horticulture technician program will soon be the horticulture industries program is going through various changes this year with half the students starting in the new program and half finishing the previous program.
“Our old program horticulture program was discontinued, but we were allowed to put together a new horticulture program. So we went from being horticulture technician to horticulture industries,” said Tommy Wingreen, program coordinator.
These changes affect what amenities are used in the program, mainly the greenhouse.
“Our use has changed a lot, so what I’m teaching in the greenhouses right now won’t happen next year,” said Wingreen.
In the new horticulture industries program students will work closer with the industry and focus on urban agriculture. They will also learn how to grow crops in an urban setting.
During the summer, students will also be involved in a 12-week co-op placement and a 10-week summer semester where they will go back and forth from campus to placement and get to learn about the outdoors during the prime-growing season.
“We now have the students here where we can actually grow something outdoors in the season where we normally grow,” Wingreen said, “before the students would be here studying in the winter time where they couldn’t work.”
The changes in the program mean that there will be less of a need for a highly controlled environment green house since most of the practical course work will be done during summer.
Currently, first-year horticulture industries students are utilizing the space to build and beautify various elements in and around the greenhouse including stone pillars, steps, and gardens.
Although there will be less need for the greenhouse, the program will still require that it be used sometimes. No final decision as been made as to what the fate of the greenhouse will be.