Community greenhouse opportunity comes to Sterling

Community greenhouse opportunity comes to Sterling

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to remove incorrect information about the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative System for Crops.

The grass will soon be greener on the Sterling side as the staff at the Sterling Community Center get ready to unveil a new greenhouse.

The greenhouse, constructed last summer, is a large dome built to withstand heavy snowfall and wind. It was donated to the center by James Freed, chief operating officer of Arctic Dome Greenhouses. Freed has been contracted to build several of his greenhouses across the peninsula.

The convex structure has no corners and is covered with translucent material, and can therefore absorb as much sunlight as possible from many given directions, according to the business’s website.

Freed said the team at Arctic Dome Greenhouses tries to promote growing crops and plants among Alaska communities, especially schools. Getting kids more interested in playing outdoors is a major goal, he said.

“Our whole mission is getting more communities to start growing,” Freed said.

Hanson said one tree had to be cut down to make room for the structure at the edge of the center’s parking lot, but that the space was otherwise unaltered.

“We were told about what kind of space they had available and so we made one to fit,” Freed said.

Now, Hanson said staff at the center are ready to get the greenhouse going and operational.

The center is calling for residents from the Sterling area to sit on a committee that will meet and deicide how best to use the greenhouse going forward.

“We’ve just got to kind of decide what we’re going to do with it,” Hanson said.

Members of the committee will consider what to grow in the dome, what kind of plant beds to use, whether the greenhouse will be for members of the center or the greater community and how to go about funding it, Hanson said.

“They’re looking at a blank piece of paper,” she said.

Hanson said she would like the greenhouse to benefit the community, whether through the center’s members or general residents.

Staff at the Sterling Community Center would like the committee to meet in the next few months so that the greenhouse can be used starting this spring, Hanson said.

She said those who are passionate about gardening and agriculture and are willing to work with other community members on the project are encouraged to join the committee.

“Our volunteers are the heartbeat (of the center),” Hanson said.

For more information about the greenhouse project, call the Sterling Community Center at (907) 262-7224.

Reach Megan Pacer at

Community greenhouse opportunity comes to Sterling
Community greenhouse opportunity comes to Sterling

More in News

Data from the state of Alaska show a steep increase in COVID-19 cases in January 2022. (Department of Health and Social Services)
Omicron drives COVID spike in Alaska as officials point to decreasing cases in eastern US

On Friday, the seven-day average number of daily cases skyrocketed to 2,234.6 per 100,000 people

Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire
Dan Blanchard, CEO of UnCruise Adventures, stands in front of a ship on May 14, 2021.
Smooth sailing for the 2022 season?

Cautious optimism reigns, but operators say it’s too early to tell.

Former Alaska Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bakalar speaks a news conference on Jan. 10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska, after she sued the state. A federal judge on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, ruled that Bakalar was wrongfully terminated by the then-new administration of Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy for violating her freedom of speech rights. (AP File Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Judge sides with attorney who alleged wrongful firing

Alaska judge says the firing violated free speech and associational rights under the U.S. and state constitutions.

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel (left) swears in student representative Silas Thibodeau at the Kenai City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai junior sworn in as council student rep

Thibodeau says he wants to focus on inclusivity and kindness during his term

Branden Bornemann, executive director of the Kenai Watershed Forum, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the forum on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘A voice for this river’

Forum reflects on 25 years protecting peninsula watershed

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Earthquake Center provides information on a 5.1 magnitude earthquake that struck at approximately 8:18 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. The quake struck approximately 17 miles southeast of Redoubt volcano or 41 miles southwest of Kenai, Alaska, at a depth of 72.8 miles. (Screenshot)
Quake near Redoubt shakes peninsula

The quake was centered 41 miles southwest of Kenai.

Most Read