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Dalton high school revives greenhouse

Dalton High School's introduction of a new botany course this school year has led to the revitalization of the campus greenhouse, but that required covering a lot of ground.

"There was stuff everywhere when we came in here," said Annette Buckner, one of the botany teachers. The list of "what we didn't need to do" was much shorter than the list of "what we needed to do".

"The air conditioner had been turned off for a long time and had algae growth," said fellow botany teacher Sharlinda Haight. "The sprinkler system is hit or miss, because some of the sprinklers have lime deposits." In the future, botany teachers would like to improve the sprinkling system, ideally employing an automated system, Haight said. "We don't want (plants) to die during the summer when we're not here."

"We needed to learn the whole greenhouse," Haight added. It's "a fairly complicated system you have to stay on top of."

The entire science department, not just botany teachers Buckner, Haight and Chase Pritchett, aided last spring and summer in preparing the greenhouse for the 2020-21 academic year, said Jessica Ashlock, an assistant principal who oversees the science department.

"The maintenance department has been really nice, too, pitching in, and everyone is excited. We are very excited that we were able to add botany as a class this year, (and) our greenhouse provides a great outdoor classroom for students to apply the skills and knowledge they are learning," said Stephanie Hungerpiller, Dalton High's principal. "Our science teachers worked together over the summer to clean out and prepare the greenhouse for the return of our students, (and) it (was) great to see their enthusiasm and teamwork in preparing for this new course."

Staff members will shop the sale Thursday from 3 to 4:30 p.m., with members of the community welcome to shop the following day during the same time period, Buckner said. Plants will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

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