WHEATLAND – Stepping into the Ecology area at Wheatland High School is similar perhaps to what Henry David Thoreau experienced when he would go to write overlooking Walden’s Pond.
Although Wheatland High School doesn’t boast a glacial lake, the twin ponds in the Ecology area adjacent to the football field provides a peaceful spot for students to get in touch with their inner nature.
A few years ago, Sally Nichols wrote a grant for the University of Wyoming Extension to earn a stipend for a greenhouse for Wheatland High School.
“We were awarded the grant, but we just couldn't nail down the perfect site,” Nichols said. “Thus, we did not follow through on the grant. However, Jeff Edwards remembered that we were interested.”
Out of the blue this spring, Nichols received an email stating that the UW Extension would like to give WHS a Geodome Greenhouse. The catch was prepping a site and providing the labor.
WHS administration immediately got behind the project and approved a spot in the Ecology area just outside the weight room and across the walkway adjacent to the football field.
The construction began June 21 with The National Honor Society providing several students including Grace Battershell, Chelsea Martinez, Alex Paulson, Caden Wade, Savannah Hacker, and Lily Nichols who all volunteered their time.
A few middle school boys pitched in as well including Grady Bohlander, Tyland Foland, and Sawyer Adams who all pitched in to help raise the geodesic trusses on the Geodome.
“Along with our maintenance crew, Jeff Edwards and his partner Ted and a few interns, we were able to finish the construction by noon on the second day,” Nichols said. “The plan is to use the Geodome for science classes, especially Botany, but also make it available to other students and staff for projects. One thought is to try some hydroponics using the ponds that already exist in the Ecology area. WHS is so very grateful that the Extension bestowed upon us this amazing gift.”