The construction of a new greenhouse adjacent to the hospital in The Bottom has been completed. The wheelchair-accessible greenhouse was built for clients of the LIFE Center, a program for the senior citizens.
Clients of the LIFE Center program joined Commissioner of Health Care and Agriculture Rolando Wilson, head of the Planning Bureau Bobby Zagers, Planning Bureau project manager Evita Pronk, head of the Agricultural Department Randall Johnson, and representatives of the Saba LIFE Center in a visit to the location earlier this week.
Construction of the 22ft. by 12ft. greenhouse by Donisa Construction started in late February and was completed in late March. The structure is made of wood and has netting on the sides so the wind can pass through it. The greenhouse has shelves for the plants at wheelchair height. There is a wheelchair ramp, put in place by Work Monster, the company that also poured the foundation of the greenhouse.
Commissioner Wilson said he was content that the project had been completed so swiftly. He thanked the contractors. He pointed out that there are multiple benefits to this project. “Not only will this help to keep the clients of LIFE Center healthy, strong, and active, but it will also give them the opportunity to grow their own plants and vegetables, do something that they like,” he said.
The LIFE Center is a program of the Benevolent Foundation Saba, the foundation that runs the care home, located next to the medical center. The construction of the greenhouse is the first part of a more comprehensive outdoor recreation area that the Benevolent Foundation wants to establish for the clients of The Home and the LIFE Center. The greenhouse will be further fitted by the Benevolent Foundation, and officially opened at a later date.
Some of the materials to grow plants have already been ordered, while donations of additional materials are most welcome. This comprehensive project has several advantages for the clients: it promotes healthy eating, offers recreational activities in the fresh air, and being engaged in outside activities together reduces loneliness.
The US $21,000 greenhouse project is financed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK), the Public Entity Saba, and the Benevolent Foundation. A similar greenhouse has also been constructed at the Sacred Heart School so children can learn about growing their own vegetables.