Rehabilitating a greenhouse for teaching

Katrice Perkins/Daily Mining Gazette Karyn Juntunen shows off one of the parts of the original plan of the building that will be used for the gardening project.

The Copper Country Intermediate School District agreed to support Community Transition Program teacher Karyn Juntunen’s efforts in rehabilitating the greenhouse for school-wide use.

Juntunen presented a proposal to the board, including a budget that showed the layout of the building, her plans for it, the accessibility for her students and many photos at the meeting on Tuesday evening.

The greenhouse was donated to the CCISD from Copper Country Mental Health in September.

Juntunen said she received a call that they were going to be tearing it down and wanted to donate it to them.

“They said it was a no-brainer that they would donate it to us,” said Juntunen. “I was really excited and we thought we’d bring it here so that all students of the ISD could use it, not just my students.”

The estimated budget is $10,000, but she believes they can offset some of the cost with generous volunteers and donations.

“We’re going on the premise that we are in the Copper Country and people are going to help,” Juntunen said. “Just by word of mouth, I’ve already received a handful of guys that are already willing to help. I have some resources that are willing to donate help and time.”

Juntunen has already received a $3,000 donation from an anonymous person.

Juntunen, who teaches adults with cognitive impairments in a satellite program, started gardening with her classroom about 15 years ago as a way to teach life and work skills.

Her students range from the age 18-26. The students help plant, transport and sell the plants while being offered a stipend for their work.