Trinity’s Greenhouse and the Giving Cycle
It’s late September, just a week away from the Trinity Annual Fund kickoff, and I’m standing in the doorway of our Upper Campus greenhouse with Ralph Ackermann, our Science and Garden teacher, and Jesus Jiminez, a hydroponics specialist. Tucked into a quiet corner of our five-acre Sand Hill campus, just behind the “Big Toy”, our play structure, the greenhouse sits next to the campus garden.
Both the greenhouse and the garden play important roles teaching our students about the growth cycle and food. Trinity worked hard last year to revamp our garden, and the results show.
Why a Hydroponics Specialist?
As I stand with them, Jesus and Ralph explain to me that over time, investing in hydroponics changes the equation. It takes a greenhouse from a utilitarian structure and transforms it into much more. Not only for the plants housed within, but for our students – where hydroponics can set a learning standard:
- Hydroponic growth requires up to 90% less water, because the water can be reused;
- Plant production increases three to ten times in the same amount of space;
- The environment is sterile, requiring no pesticides, so crops can grow twice as fast;
- It decreases the time between harvest and consumption, enhancing the nutritional value of the food.
I can’t think of a better way to teach our students about sustainability. But this example also instructs us, as an adult community – it shows us what is possible when we think bigger, push for better, and collaborate for the benefit of our children.
Our Own Giving Cycle
It’s now early October, and the Annual Fund is in full swing. And I must draw a parallel between the greenhouse metamorphosis and our own growth cycle. Every year, through your generosity, we are able to strengthen, sustain, and enhance our academic programming.
Trinity asks for 100% Annual Fund giving participation from Board of Trustees, faculty, and parent communities – and we’ve hit that goal for the last 13 consecutive years. This year, our goal of $400,000 for the Annual Fund and $60,000 for Faculty Venture Grants provides approximately 10% of Trinity’s $4.5 million operating budget.
When we all really stretch, together – making giving, children on both campuses, and this community a priority – so much more is possible. It’s the difference between a beautiful garden and greenhouse and an articulated philosophy of sustainability. It’s greenhouses, gardens, design thinking labs, beautiful sports courts, and more. These are made possible not by tuition, but by the Annual Fund and capital fundraising.
Please join me in thinking big, digging deep, and coming together to grow this Annual Fund season. We appreciate each and every one of you for doing so.