What better way to build a sustainable garden and food center than to reuse and improve a set of existing structures? That’s exactly what is happening in Stevens Point. A recent article in Central Wisconsin Business reported that the Stevens Point City Council had approved spending $100,000 to convert the former Sorenson’s greenhouse into a sustainable garden, food education center and business incubator promoting local food and business. This approval allows Central Rivers Farmshed to apply for a $250,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The funds, which would be awarded this spring, will be used to complete the improvements.
According to Community Development Director Michael Ostrowski, the city would still award the money to the coalition of local organizers working on this project if the grant is not awarded. In that case, the funds would need to be matched privately. Thus far, the coalition has raised over $98,000 for the project.
Farmshed has agreed to complete building improvements that bring the value of the buildings to $250,000; they are currently valued at approximately $103,000.
Next steps are cleaning up the site, roofing the office building and covering the greenhouse in plastic prior to spring.