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Stories & Snapshots

Going Green with a Greenhouse: Sustainable Planting on Epic’s Campus

New greenhouse helps Epic’s unique plant life survive the winter months

At Epic, our roots in sustainability run deep. The campus is designed to encourage, rather than disrupt, the growth of local Wisconsin plant life, and the flora that decorates our campus is intended to last. Our new greenhouse makes caring for plants more effective than ever.

“We have plants all over our campus, both inside and outside,” said Richard Bartelme, a horticulturalist at Epic. “In the Wisconsin winter, when perennials can begin to struggle, it’s important to give them the environment they need to survive.”

The Epic greenhouse helps plants stay healthy during the fall and winter months. Rather than letting plants die when temperatures drop, the horticulture team rotates them between well-lit locations indoors and the greenhouse.

“Most plants can’t thrive inside forever, even when it’s nicer inside than outside,” Richard said. “They’re like us—they occasionally need a vacation somewhere that’s nice and warm.”

Plants are stored in one of the greenhouse’s five zones, and each zone has different degrees of lighting, heat, and humidity to keep a variety of plants healthy.

The importance of sustainability extends to how the greenhouse operates, too. It’s partially fueled by solar panels, and on sunny days the interior can exceed 80 degrees without supplemental heat. Energy curtains and the greenhouse’s polycarbonate materials keep the heat trapped inside.

“Many plants get better with age, so we want to keep them around,” Richard said. “Now, with the greenhouse, we can extend their lives so our staff and guests can continue to enjoy their beauty.”