UD students, community groups partner to create green space

The University of Dayton Hanley Sustainability Institute and partners East End Community Services, Mission of Mary Cooperative and the Twin Towers neighborhood are taking steps in transforming a former Dayton Public School site into an urban farm and green space.

The group is erecting three hoop houses on the Lincoln Hill Gardens site, in the Twin Towers Neighborhood at 401 Nassau Street in Dayton.

The first hoop house was completed Saturday. The project continues at 1 p.m. today, and concludes at 1 p.m. Friday.

“A hoop house, a semicircle wire-frame covered in clear plastic, functions like a greenhouse. They are movable, so our plan is to create nearly three-quarters of an acre of growing space for what we hope to be 15,000 pounds of food per year,” Stephen Mackell, urban farm manager at Mission of Mary Cooperative, said in a release. “Crops will include winter greens, spinach, onions and carrots during the cold seasons and tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, herbs and salad crops during the main growing season.”

Mission of Mary operates three urban farms, but the Lincoln Hill Gardens site will be the largest and first to have large production hoop houses, according to Mackell.

Students from the University of Dayton are working with the Hanley Sustainability Institute to assist with site design, surveys, soil restoration, and logo design and branding.

“Projects like these provide truly a field experience for students and are at the heart of the Hanley Sustainability Institute’s mission,” Don Pair, acting head of the institute, said in a release.

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