Clients at a center for adults with disabilities in Cumming will soon be able to grow their own food and plants.
On Wednesday, the Rotary Club of South Forsyth officially dedicated a greenhouse built as a service project to Creative Enterprises Inc., a center for adults with special needs who have aged out of the local school system.
James Daniel, president of the civic club, said he was referred to Creative Enterprises and Lisa Bennett, a retired special education teacher who runs the Forsyth location, when the group was looking for its next project.
“I said, ‘OK, with all the projects we can do for you, what’s at the top of your wish list?’ and she said, ‘Actually, we’d really like a greenhouse,’” Daniel said. “I’d never built a greenhouse, don’t really know how they operate … so I said, ‘I guess we’ll build a greenhouse.’”
Luckily for the club, members assisted with framing the greenhouse, pouring the slab and getting it ready for use.
“I’m very pleased that it turned out well, and we’re going to turn it over to Lisa and her team and give her students something fun to work with and to tackle there,” Daniel said.
Bennett said the greenhouse will be an opportunity for those in the program to learn something new.
“A lot of our clients didn’t really know what a greenhouse was, so it’s perfect that is actually what y’all decided to do,” she said. “It’s going to be fabulous.”
She said Creative Enterprises is working with clubs and individuals to get the greenhouse going but is also looking for volunteers.
Creative Enterprises opened its Forsyth campus in September 2016 and rents the former Cumming Parks and Recreation building, which the city of Cumming leases for $1 per year. The first location opened in Lawrenceville in 1976.
Currently, the center offers classes based on the goals and interests of clients, such as art, health classes and training. The number of clients has also grown from six at opening to 18 today.
“You just have to see what happens here. It’s really almost magical what they can do, and watching them socialize together is amazing,” Bennett said. “After school, they have nothing to do; there is nothing to do in this county.
“And they have made friendships with each other, and that is the part I like the most.”