A Labor of Love
“The genius behind the beauty” of MVNU’s greenhouse is Brent Overholt according to Director of Facilities Tony Edwards.
Overholt, a member of the MVNU grounds crew, is in charge of the flowerbeds and greenhouse. He graduated with an Associate of Science in Landscaping from the agricultural branch of the Ohio State University.
The greenhouse started about eight years ago behind Ariel Arena where the existing parking lot is now.
Assistant to the Director of Facility Services Ben Cook explained that the greenhouse has been a way for the University to save money from the beginning.
The structure was bought used, but the University had to buy a new membrane. The “reconstructed and repurposed” greenhouse cost less that year than it did to buy petunias for the whole campus, Cook said.
Since the start of the greenhouse, Overholt has been able to increase the quality and variety of flowers planted on campus. The greenhouse is home to about 3,000 seedlings, with 10-15 different perennials and 10 varieties of annuals.
Maintaining the greenhouse is a “labor of love” according to Cook.
“Brent has been instrumental in all of it,” Cook said. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without his care and effort.”
For Overholt, caring for the greenhouse and landscaping on campus is a way to use the talents Christ has given him.
"I am doing what I enjoy,” Overholt said. “I love landscaping and I get more and more excited each year to do it.”
Overholt said his work helps him continually appreciate God’s creation.
Overholt hopes that through landscaping he can portray the love of Christ and to use his talents to glorify God.
“It’s an opportunity to minister and build relationships,” he said.
Besides the routine maintenance of caring for the flowers in the greenhouse,
Overholt has made sure that every aspect of the greenhouse is suitable for optimal flower growth.
Overholt installed a new irrigation system in the greenhouse after noticing that some flowers were not getting the same amount of water as the others, resulting in different growth stages.
The greenhouse is kept at 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
"If we keep it too warm, things get too big too early,” said Bill Fanning, head of the Grounds Department. “We had to find the optimal temperature and stage to plant the plants.”
The 20- by 40-foot structure is also equipped with fans that help the flow of humidity to stay even.
The greenhouse has been instrumental for the grounds department by cutting their budget for flowers in half.