WATERVILLE — Two local organizations have completed a large new growing space powered by solar heating and cooling systems, which will provide fresh fruit and produce for children.

The Boys and Girls Clubs and the YMCA of Greater Waterville at the Alfond Youth Center on Wednesday launched the Solar Growing Dome, a new greenhouse 42 feet in diameter that will be functional all year. The greenhouse is also surrounded by raised soil beds.

The space has solar powered heating and cooling systems, hydroponics and aquaponics learning labs, a thermal pond for fish and water plants, and fully accessible work spaces.

This greenhouse will provide fresh produce and herbs to the Kids’ Kitchen and Weekend Backpack programs year round, and will also allow children to engage in STEM activities, start their own produce stands and hold community garden events.

The greenhouse was made possible from donors such as John and Mark Beaupre, Hannaford and Lowe’s Renovation Across the Nation.


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