MHS student, Scout leads greenhouse groundbreaking

After more than two years and 400 hours of work, Marblehead High School senior and Scout Tyler Earp joined Acting Superintendent Michelle Cresta and other school leaders — all with shovels in hand — for a groundbreaking for Earp’s greenhouse project.

“I’m so glad to see this coming to fruition,” Earp said. “It will be nice to see it here.”

Earp started working on his greenhouse idea, an Eagle Scout project, in February of 2021.

 At the groundbreaking for a greenhouse at Marblehead High School are, from left, Groom Construction’s Dwight Groom, architect Jeff Tucker, Tyler Earp, Acting Superintendent Michele Cresta, MHS Assistant Principals Lindsay Donaldson and Dan Richards, and Principal Michele Carlson. CURRENT PHOTOS/LEIGH BLANDER

“There were six months of planning, three months of approvals from the Scouts and the schools, and then we started fundraising,” he said.

The greenhouse should be completed and ready for use by the end of October.

Earp raised more than $76,000 for the project.

“I have received over 275 donations from individual, corporate and civic organizations,” he said.

The largest donation, $11,000, was anonymous.

The greenhouse will be 17 feet wide by 22 feet long with a peak height of 9 feet. It will be made of glass and aluminum with a concrete foundation. Groom Construction is donating its time and materials to pour the foundation. Local architect Jeff Tucker contributed the plans.

The project also includes four raised garden beds.

Several MHS classes will use the greenhouse and beds, which are located in an outdoor classroom area right behind the school.

“Cooking classes can use the fruits, vegetables and herbs,” Earp said. “Science and bio classes. English classes can use it for nature writing. Art classes can use it for sketching.”

The MHS National Green School Society will maintain the greenhouse as a service project.

“I’m so excited,” said MHS Principal Michele Carlson. “It’s wonderful for the high school and will provide students with some great learning opportunities.”

As Earp, his parents, grandparents and school leaders started shoveling, English teacher Jennifer Billings stuck her head out a school window to shout words of encouragement.

“This is so good, isn’t it?” she said with a smile and a wave.

MHS English teacher Jenn Billings sticks her head out her classroom window to watch the greenhouse groundbreaking.

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