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Think Outside the Pot

Think Outside the Pot
Get your green thumbs dirty this summer with the Civic Garden Center's newest project that shows us how to make the most of our land and grow plants anywhere, even in the heart of the city!
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Listen up, urbanites! Don't think you need to live in a bucolic bubble to be a part of the green solution. The small terrace that serves as your backyard is more than enough space to practice environmental responsibility.

 

Check out the Civic Garden Center's new Green Learning Station (GLS), opening this summer, and interact with hands-on demonstrations of how our environmental problems can be solved just by creative use of the land around us.

 

The GLS, located on the lot adjacent to the Civic Garden Center, was once an old Sohio gas station in the ‘80s. Today, trade those petrol pumps for pervious pavement and perennials, and you have a $1 million renovation that's transformed the site into a high-tech outdoor learning laboratory.

 

"Our mission is growing a greener, healthier Cincinnati, one garden at a time," says Ryan Mooney-Bullock, GLS's Program Manager. "When you add plants to an urban environment, you're literally ‘greening' the city and the Green Learning Station shows how landscape can be much more than just looking nice." ulg_instory4.gif

 

There are three main themes of the GLS:
1) Keep the storm water where it falls.
2) Garden anywhere and everywhere
3) Composting

 

 These three themes an be explored by visitors on their own with the help of educational signage. Climb the stairs to the rooftop vegetable garden or see how Photovoltaic film can convert the sun's energy into electricity.

 

And while you're up there, take a look at the parking lot below and notice a serious science project going on: six different test areas for pervious pavement (pavement that lets water go through) will offer data to the city about how to decrease storm water runoff. A gravel bed underneath the concrete is lined with plastic, collecting the water and testing the effectiveness of the system, which will prove to be valuable to decreasing the 14 billion gallons of raw sewage and rain water that flows into our river each year!

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You can also get ideas on how to grow plans vertically, making that bare brick wall on the side of your house covered in greens so thick and luscious, Rapunzel could climb down. And for the truly horti-curious, take a class that shows you how to incorporate food into your landscape and make kale the new Ninebark. Perennial foods like rhubarb, currants, blueberries, chives and herbs can make your garden beautifully varied and conveniently edible!

  

The GLS is still under construction and is expected to be officially open on August 20, 2011, but feel free to stop in any time to see the progress and wander the flora of the Civic Garden Center's eight acre property. After being inspired on how turn your trash into black gold and ideas for companion planting (plants that thrive when grown next to one another), you'll realize your Chia pet needs some friends.

 

The GLS is located on the grounds of the Hauck Botanic Garden, on Reading Road (between Taft and Oak). Visit greenlearningstation.org for more information and click here for a list of classes this summer.

 

PHOTO CREDITS:
Photographer: Ashley Sohngen

Cher Schaeper -

Cher Schaeper is Cincy Chic's sales intern. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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