UNION — After being closed for a year, McCormick’s Greenhouse is open once again with extended hours for Good Friday and free plants for children accompanied by their parents.
Owned and operated by the Union County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, the greenhouse, located at 737 Industrial Park Road behind Union Services, is staffed by board clients who plant and cultivate a variety of flowers and vegetables under the supervision of board personnel.
Executive Director Lou Stackhouse said the greenhouse recently reopened after being closed for most of 2012.
“We were closed for a year due to illness and funding,” Stackhouse said this week. “We were closed from December 2011 to December 2012, mainly due to funding. We met in December 2012 and decided this was a service that was needed for Union and for the people that we serve at Union Services. They love working in the greenhouse and meeting the public.”
Stackhouse said the greenhouse is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but will have extended hours for Good Friday.
“Good Friday is the traditional spring planting day,” Stackhouse said. “Although it is a holiday for some, we will be open to assist people with their gardening needs and questions from 9 a.m. until.”
Horticulturalist Paul Burgess said the greenhouse has a wide variety of flowers and vegetables for the public to choose from.
“We have vegetables that are ready, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers,” Burgess said. “We grow all sorts of hanging baskets. We grow various and sundry vegetable garden plants and numerous flowering plants.”
Carol Whitener, director of Day Services, said the proceeds from the sale of the plants grown in the greenhouse go to pay for the salaries the board clients earn working in the greenhouse.
“The profits go back into the agency for the people we serve in the form of paychecks,” Whitener said. “They come out and help and Paul (Burgess) and Frances Fowler supervise them and teach about growing plants.”
While most of the plants grown at the greenhouse are for sale, some are free for some very special customers.
“Every child who comes with their family will receive a free plant of their own,” Stackhouse said. “We’re looking forward to people coming back and shopping with us.”
The reopening of the greenhouse is one of the “excellent things happening” at Union Services that Stackhouse said includes being the beneficiary of the latest Leadership Union project.
“They (the Leadership Union Class of 2013) came to visit us at Union Services for a tour in the early fall,” Stackhouse said. “The classes always go out and visit local businesses to learn about Union County’s businesses and their development.
“Each year they have a project to do something good for the community and give something back,” Stackouse said. “This year we were so fortunate that they chose Union Services for their project.”
Stackhouse said the project involved a number of improvements to the grounds and the front of the Union Services building on Industrial Park Road.
“They’ve given the whole front of the building a face lift,” Stackhouse said. “New shrubs, new planters, a granite bench, handicapped-accessible picnic tables and a new sign for the front of the building. We were in awe as to what this group of the community did in their spare time. The building looks incredible and we can’t be more appreciative of their generosity.”
Stackhouse said DSN has also been the recipient of the generosity of State Rep. Mike Anthony who met with DSN staff members and parents on March 6 for Disability Awareness Day at the state capitol in Columbia.
“We received an American and a state flag that flew on the statehouse grounds,” Stackhouse said. “A new flag pole has been purchased and the new flags will be displayed here proudly in front of the building.”
Broad River Electric Charities
In February, DSN was one of 11 groups to receive a total of $21,500 from Broad River Electric Charities as part of Broad River Electric Cooperative’s Operation Round Up® program.
Stackhouse thanked Broad River for its generosity.
“We were the recipients of a $2,000 grant from Broad River that is to be used for activities at Union Services,” Stackhouse said. “It’s community support like this that makes Union County Disabilities and Special Needs and Union Services a very special place to be.”
For more information about Union County Disabilities and Special Needs and Union Services call 427-7700.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.