Hidden Campus: Greenhouse

By: Justin Pehrson
Casper College greenhouse

As I stood in a concoction of melt-off grime sourced by an aging snowbank from across the parking lot, a pair of stark realizations hit me. The first revolved around the idea of not being too thrilled about sending out a search party of one to recover a set of acrobatic car keys. The second was, that winter’s welcome has worn transparent. I held out longer this year than I do most, but that moment when I’m ready to exchange boots for flip flops has arrived all the same. Sloshing about in a puddle of the unknown while having an abrasive conversation with the wind only reinforced my recent acknowledgment. I try my hardest to look for the best in all things but for me, at that specific spot in time and space, the beauty and magic of the season had become as desaturated as the beige ocean that slumped over the horizon. Since that bleak afternoon, the mere thought of “Local on the 8s” now provokes a barrage of audible sighs that, if left unchecked, will escalate into a full out expletive assault on the Weather Channel.

No fighting it, I’ve a small case of the winter blues.

Fortunately for most of us, this is a temporary condition where treatment of the symptoms is almost as good as a cure – maybe a cruise through tropical waters, full spectrum light boxes, or perhaps a little greenhouse therapy. I believe I’m in favor of the efficiency and price (or lack thereof) of the latter suggestion.

Operated by the Department of Environmental and Natural Science, the Casper College Greenhouse is more than a cost free oasis in the long stretches of winter. The mission of the Casper College Greenhouse is to support Casper College programs, educate the community and provide a diverse habitat that is conducive to stimulating all facets of education. While this includes the sciences, it also extends to areas of the arts and humanities. 

Home to a variety of exotic plants, as well as reptiles, fish, and birds, the greenhouse offers three distinctive areas – the Tropical Rain Forest Room, a Desert Room, and the Greenhouse Main Room. Sustaining a balance between all the different life forms and their environments is a constant goal that stimulates studies in ecology, biology, botany, and zoology. 

Located on the second floor of the Loftin Life Science Center, the greenhouse is open Monday thru Friday from noon-3 p.m. for drop-in visitors. Larger groups and private tours can be scheduled by contacting Evert Brown at 307-268-2407 or ebrown@caspercollege.edu.

After your rejuvenating trip to the greenhouse has given you the will to endure until May, visitors are encouraged to take a small piece of paradise in parting. As the plants are free to a good home, please remember that the donations received for these plants help sustain the continued operation of the greenhouse.

This story originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Footprints.

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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