Author: Peter Wheeler

21 Mar 2023

Cultivation Club Kickoff Event Sign Up

Cultivation Club Kickoff Event Sign Up

Register for our kickoff event, held on Saturday, April 15th from 9:30-11:30am. 
We will provide information about the program and answer your questions. Breakfast will be provided. If you are interested in joining the program, you will be able to complete your required background check during the kickoff event!

No volunteer work will occur at the kickoff event – workdays will occur throughout the season. 

This volunteer program is open to ages 16+. Children younger than 16 are welcome to attend the kickoff event with their guardian.

Interested in participating, but can’t attend the April 15 kickoff event? We’d still love to have you! Click here to visit the program’s MyImpact webpage, and click on “fill in an application” to register.

02 Feb 2023

Silo Removal at Michaela Farm

Silo Removal at Michaela Farm

The blue silos behind the Michaela Farm barn building are being removed and recycled for the safety of employees and visitors. These silos were not part of the original construction of the barn, and they have reached the end of their functional life span because of their age and condition. Greenacres respects and appreciates the historic nature of the barn and is working to preserve this important piece of the farm for future generations.

We carefully inspected these structures and determined the best course of action would be to remove them as they were showing signs of their age. They served their intended purpose for several decades, but as Greenacres transitions the property towards its focus on education, we want to ensure that the environment is as safe as possible for everyone. We are working with an Indiana contractor specializing in the safe and clean removal of these structures. We expect the project to be completed before the end of February 2023.”

Alex Saurber, Director of Buildings & Grounds

There are several ways old silos can be dismantled. Greenacres wanted to ensure that the historic barn building was not at risk throughout the process. The contractor who will remove the silos specializes in a method removing them from the bottom up. Although more time-consuming, there is no risk of unintended damage to surrounding structures. The recyclable materials will be sorted and sent to the appropriate facilities for reuse.

The deconstruction method we will use is very similar to a popular silo construction method in which a contractor builds a section and uses jacks to lift it to make room for the next section underneath. Each layer is added below the previous section. Deconstruction reverses this process by lifting the silo off the ground and removing the lowest section. One the ring is completely removed they lower the jacks and remove the next section and continue this process until the silo is completely dismantled. Very few contractors use this method to remove silos, instead preferring a quicker method of dropping them like a tree. Due to the potential danger to the surrounding historical buildings, we didn’t feel this option was viable. We spent a number of weeks finding a contractor who specialized in our preferred method and they will begin deconstruction on February 27th.

01 Apr 2022

Smoke on the Horizon

Smoke on the Horizon

Not Always a Sign of Trouble

Greenacres, The Village of Indian Hill and Madeira & Indian Hill Joint Fire District recently teamed up to do a series of prescribed burns around the Village in an effort to promote new growth, reduce invasive plants and clear old plant debris. The locations selected for these burns were Grand Valley Preserve, Radio Range Park and a green area near the intersection of Shawnee Run Road and State Route 126. All three locations had been planted with native grasses or wildflowers, but the establishment rate had not been successful.

Village officials had noticed less and less species diversity over the last few years and were looking for a solution when they reached out to Greenacres for assistance. After reviewing the data, the Greenacres team prescribed a series of burns. They felt this was the most natural approach and helped avoid the use of powerful herbicides or heavy tilling.

“The Village was thrilled to learn that the Greenacres Team was certified in prescribed burns and interested in partnering with the Village to improve the native grasses and wildflowers. The Village is fortunate to have the Greenacres Foundation located within our community and the partnership that has been created to improve the natural environment.”  said.

-Jon West, Village of Indian Hill Assistant City Manager

“These native plant communities evolved in the presence of natural fires” says Daniel Wilds, Greenacres Interim General Manager of Greenacres Michaela Farm. “By utilizing burns, we can help manage land in a way that promotes growth and maintains a rich balance of native species. Not only do we remove dead material, creating space and light for new growth, we’re also building natural fertilizer by breaking down biomass so that it can be reabsorbed into the soil. It’s a very powerful management practice for farmers and land managers and can benefit an entire ecosystem when implemented properly. We can greatly improve soil health, plant and animal communities, and even weather patterns.” continued Wilds.

“By utilizing burns, we can help manage land in a way that promotes growth and maintains a rich balance of native species.

-Daniel Wilds, Interim General Manager of Greenacres Michaela Farm

After carefully planning the procedure and waiting for the necessary weather conditions, Wilds, who has a national certification to conduct these type of burns, and other members of Greenacres, put the plan into motion under the careful supervision of the firefighters from the Madeira & Indian Hill Joint Fire District. Three separate burns were conducted over the course of three days.

“The prescribed burns were carefully planned, coordinated with the right personnel and executed without incident. This was a new experience for our personnel and we enjoyed working with our partners from Greenacres.

-Chief Stephen Oughterson, Madeira & Indian Hill Joint Fire District

All three burns went according to plan and Greenacres and the Village will be monitoring the sites over the coming years to gauge their effectiveness on the intended outcome. The hope is this old school method finds new life as organizations look for alternatives to the harsher land management practices employed in years past.