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"We’re so close": Alberta family struggling to keep greenhouse dream afloat

A Lethbridge-area family is garnering community support as they struggle to hold onto property they want to use to help employ people with disabilities.

Suzie Irwin had owned a successful greenhouse in Barons, Alta., several years ago, at which time her family decided to move to a different location. “Because it was way out in Barons and we wanted to move closer to Lethbridge, the whole idea was to move it from Barons and put it out at our Park Lake acreage,” she explained.

While the idea was promising at first, starting out as “Suzie’s Greenhouse”, financial trouble came after they say their contractor declared bankruptcy, taking their hard-earned money down with them.

“We decided to just close it and work like mad to hold onto the property,” Irwin said. “So for the last 15 years, securing two jobs and working your butt off to hold onto it.”

The main goal for the greenhouse, according to the Irwin family, is to provide a safe place of employment for people with various disabilities. Ethan Irwin, Suzie’s son, has dealt with the struggle of finding employment as someone with Autism.

He recently expressed interest in reopening the greenhouse to help others like himself.

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