Advice for updating an old greenhouse / Community Aquaponics Project

Asked June 25, 2018, 10:15 AM EDT

Hello, I​ am ​starting​ a community-led aquaponics project in Lansing​, MI,​​ and am contacting MSU Extension for any advice you can give for this project. I have identified​ a greenhouse​ at the Beekman Center (part of Lansing School District) for this project; ​however, the greenhouse has not been used for two decades and I am unsure of what updates are needed to make it functional again. In order to get an accurate estimate for our budget I need to learn a bit more about how greenhouses function, and what is needed to maintain year-round growing, especially in Michigan winters. ​At this point in the project we have no money devoted, and I am hoping that knowledge-bases like MSU Extension are willing their volunteer their time and resources to help us assess the greenhouse structure and suggest an estimate for it to be functional again. Ultimately I would like to partner with MSU Extension for the aquaponics project as well. At it's best, I envision this project to be an additional educational opportunity for the Lansing School District, a resource to provide food and revenue to the community it serves, and an outreach opportunity for MSU's faculty and students. Thank you for your time, Helen McGuirk

Ingham County Michigan

3 Responses

Thank you for your question Helen! I've been trying to find a person here at MSU to connect you with. Many people have been out on vacation the past couple of weeks. I just wanted to let you know that we are working on finding an answer for you!

Thank you!

Thank you very much for the update. I understand staffing is variable this time of year, but I am looking forward to hearing what you guys come up with!

I have a couple of individuals for you to contact. If you are interested in renovating the greenhouse you can contact Heidi Lindberg: Also, here is an MSU Extension website which may have some helpful information

For the area of aquaponics you can contact Elliot Nelson and his contact information is below. You may also want to visit the Michigan SeaGrant website:

I hope this information is helpful!

Elliot Nelson
Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator
Michigan State University Extension
Phone: 906-635-2845 | Cell: 906-322-0353
Email: | Web: |