City of Windsor to break ground on new greenhouse at Jackson Park
New 22,000-square-foot facility will be twice the size of the old Lanspeary Park greenhouse
Ground will likely be broken later this month on a new $7.2-million greenhouse facility for the city's parks department.
It will be built on the site of a current baseball diamond in Jackson Park at McDougall Street and and Memorial Drive, just south of Windsor Stadium.
It will replace the aging greenhouses at Lanspeary Park, some of which are 100 years old.
The new 22,000-square-foot greenhouse will be twice the size of the old facility.
It will allow the city to grow plants for hanging baskets, which it currently has to buy from outside sources. It will also be one large greenhouse with more room for the tropical plants that have to be housed over the winter.
"Many of the plants can't be replaced. These aren't the type of things you can go to your local garden centre in the spring and simply purchase. They're expensive. They're exotic, " said James Chacko, senior manager of parks.
The new facility will be more energy efficient and could be used for school programs, horticultural workshops, a place to grow food for food banks and a winter garden open to the public.
Chacko says neighbours need not fear light pollution such as the type being experienced from the greenhouses in Leamington and Kingsville.
"The plants go to sleep over the night, just like you and I do, so that there won't be any light disturbance or light pollution," said Chacko, explaining there are no ongoing operations in the night time.
The city will hear from the Lanspeary Park neighbourhood about how to utilize the three acres where the old greenhouses sit, but care will be taken to incorporate one greenhouse which originally came from Willistead. The 100 year-old building is on the city's heritage registry.
"That may involve it remaining in place as it is, may involve moving it slightly within the footprint of this property," said Chacko.
"So certainly we're not in a rush to knock down anything that is heritage designated or we will go through all the proper channels and do our best to ensure that it can be incorporated into the new Lanspeary Park "
The new greenhouse is expected to be finished by the end of the spring next year. The city will also try to rework some baseball diamonds at Mic Mac Park to accommodate fast ball as a replacement for the ball diamond that will be lost in Jackson Park.