CCISD Greenhouse

The CCISD greenhouse, located at the CCISD building in Hancock.
The Copper Country Intermediate School District (CCISD) Greenhouse structure, located at the CCISD Learning Center Campus in Hancock, Michigan.

The Story of the CCISD Greenhouse

The Copper Country Intermediate School District sign.The CCISD Community Transition Program students have used this greenhouse structure at its original location at the Copper Country Mental Health Rice Memorial building to start their plants from seeds every spring from 2004 – 2017. Each year the students plant seeds for five varieties of tomatoes, green peppers, jalapeño peppers, basil, three varieties of Zinnia flowers, cosmos, and two varieties of Marigolds. They have had returning customers from across the Copper Country. They also donate surplus plants to nursing homes, the Oak House group home, and the Michigan Tech University raised bed garden project. In September 2017, Copper County Mental Health donated the 24′ x 24′ Vail style commercial greenhouse with galvanized steel supports and polycarbonate sheeting sides.

The greenhouse has been such a wonderful asset to the Community Transition Program for teaching Science, gardening, work skills, marketing skills, retail skills, and developing a strong connection to our community over the past 15 years. The plan is to expand these opportunities to all of the CCISD programs with a commercial greenhouse structure classroom area.

Our CCISD Learning Center Mission Statement

The Copper Country Learning Center Teachers and Support Staff believe our students are lifelong learners and valued community members. We envision students in our classrooms will progress in the curriculum and experience success at school, at home, the work place, and in the community.

Our Greenhouse Vision

The CCISD Greenhouse vision is to have the greenhouse continue to provide the benefits we have seen with the Community Transition Program by expanding it into the other classrooms. Michigan Common Core Science lessons can be taught through hands-on place based education activities in the greenhouse. Teaching students how to grow their own plants to produce food is a lifelong lesson. The lessons taught by selling the plants for a fundraiser have taught many skills to generalize into the workplace and the community.

Grants and Donations

We have replaced the heating and ventilation systems, and all the polycarbonate panels with the generous grants and donations from the following organizations:

Copper Country Mental Health
(Donation of the building)

Portage Health Foundation
($20,000 grant and a feature video for the project)
The Portage Health Foundation website

Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative
($3,600 grant)
The LSSI website

Michigan Transition Services Association
($3,000 grant)
The Michigan Transition Services Association website

MJO Contracting
(labor and equipment for the concrete foundation)

Cash donations from the Community

Calumet Knights of Columbus
Keweenaw Random Acts of Community
Kindness
Houghton Rotary
Houghton Lions Club
Kiwanis Club of the Copper Country
Aspirus Light the Night
Private individual donations

Community Partners

Gierke Blueberry Farm
Students pressing apples at the Gierke Blueberry Farm

Michigan State University Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center
Community Food Systems Educator: Abbey Palmer

The UPRC Website

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