Thanks to a shared vision and generous support from Mayo Clinic Health System—Franciscan Healthcare and Western Technical College, with support from the La Crosse Community Foundation, in October 2015 Hillview moved into a new state-of-the-art greenhouse located on Western’s campus in the Horticulture Education Center on the corner of 7th & Vine. In our new greenhouse we are providing education on growing, preparing and preserving nutritious food with a focus on low-income individuals and families as well as providing senior citizens, specially-abled and other community members with volunteer opportunities in greenhouse activities and programs.Hillview’s mission in the Greenhouse
- Provide educational and inspirational program space for people of all ages and abilities to participate.
- Grow organic and heirloom variety food seedlings to be sold/donated for community gardens, school gardens, and the public.
- Grow produce to fruition for sale at farmers markets, grocery, and restaurant and donation to food pantries.
In 2016, our greenhouse has:
- Provided over 1,400 participant hours in the greenhouse to people of all ages and abilities.
- Grown 5,000 food plants that were sold into the community.
- Donated 500 food plants to local non-profits – WAFER, Riverfront, GROW La Crosse, Viterbo’s garden for Boys and Girls Club, Mayo’s Onalaska Community garden, Clearwater Farm, and the YMCA Food Forest.
- Donated hundreds of pounds of fresh local organic produce to Salvation Army and the group homes on the property of the Washburn Neighborhood Garden.
- Has provided tours including students from 7 Rivers High School, Emerson Elementary and UW-L, YWCA Day Care, Sustainability Institute, Bluff Country Master Gardeners, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and many more.
- Taught classes at our Spring Plant Sale on Square Foot Gardening and Growing Microgreens
- Grown delicious and highly nutritious microgreens by our volunteers and interns and for sale at the People’s Food Co-op. We also supply local restaurants with our microgreens, including The Charmant, The Mint, Piggy’s, and Waterfront Restaurant!
Western’s Passive House Instructional Facility was made possible through this unique community partnership. It is located on the former Hillview Greenhouse site on North 24th Street and serves as a living laboratory for students and a model for energy efficiency for therein. For more information on Western’s Passive Home go to page 54-57 in our publication.