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Greenhouse dedicated in visionary's memory

Krystle Wagner • Oct 20, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Kathy Anderson’s vision to have a year-round operational greenhouse for students is now a reality.

On Friday, Anderson’s family and friends joined Central High School staff and students for a dedication ceremony of The Kathy Anderson Greenhouse in memory of the late longtime Grand Haven Area Public Schools employee and Central supporter.

Central Principal Paul Kunde said Anderson had a “tremendous impact” on the high school and community.

Anderson died in 2017 after battling cancer.

“I miss her every day, and I know a lot of us do,” Kunde said.

Over the years, Anderson routinely put money in students’ lunch accounts without their knowledge, and she sometimes gave students her own clothing if they had a need, Kunde said.

In recalling Anderson, Kunde said her best line was, “You can get happy in the same pants you got sad in.”

As a gardener, Anderson had a vision for the greenhouse.

Initially, the greenhouse was a building with a dirt floor. After Anderson’s death, a fund was set up in her honor to support the greenhouse. Now, it’s operational year-round and includes a cement floor, heat and water because of Anderson’s vision, Kunde said.

Anderson’s ultimate vision was for students to learn about gardening and how to grow food to take home and be served at school for lunch, Kunde said.

“Because of Kathy, that’s going to happen,” he said.

Central students are already growing hydroponic lettuce and kale.

The school’s food and clothing pantry also stems from Anderson’s actions. It started when Anderson asked if she could put the extra tomatoes from her garden out for students, and has become sustainable, Kunde said.

Following the ceremony Friday, everyone had a chance to visit the greenhouse and enjoy refreshments.

“It was a nice tribute to her,” said Don Anderson, Kathy’s father.

Charlotte Anderson said it meant a lot to have the greenhouse dedicated in her daughter’s memory, and it’s wonderful that students will be able to benefit from it..

“She would have loved it,” Charlotte said.

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