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New greenhouse will provide access to fresh produce in Battle Creek area

New greenhouse will provide access to fresh produce in Battle Creek area. (WWMT)

Students and families in need will soon have access to free, fresh produce in the Battle Creek area.

Several organizations are teaming up to build a new greenhouse at the Pine Creek Indian Reservation, which is expected to be up and running December 2018.

Organizers said not only will this provide fresh produce, but offer a new form of education for area students and also new job opportunities.

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi held a ceremony to celebrate new life on tribal land. A greenhouse that will fill a space next to the tribal community garden will serve fresh produce for Athens Area Schools and families in need.

FireKeepers Casino Hotel CEO Kathy George said, “The battle against hunger is everywhere. And to be a part and know that we can have an impact immediately on it. It's the right thing to do.”

The greenhouse is a shared vision by directors of the tribe, FireKeepers Casino Hotel and the Fire Hub.

Their goal of providing fresh fruits and vegetables to students and families in need goes beyond healthy eating.

Athens Area Schools Superintendent Joe Huepenbecker said, “This expands their ideas on exactly what they can do for agriculture, as far as developing their own farms with less ground that is producing more product so it becomes profitable.”

George said this is part of their continued effort of supporting the community.

She said, “We do it through service, we do it through gardens, we do it through restaurants and casinos, but ultimately at the end it's our heart and that's really what we want to have shine through.”

The greenhouse will open 10 construction jobs to build it and create six jobs to run it.

Huepenbecker said, “Sharing and helping your neighbor, helping the people in your community. And this is just another example of how they go out of their way trying to create opportunities.”

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