Nixa magnet school receives $300K grant to build greenhouse and tower gardens

A Nixa magnet school with 12 tower gardens will be able to add 100 more — plus build a huge greenhouse — after securing a federal grant. Nixa Public Schools announced Monday that the John Thomas School of Discovery was awarded the Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production Grant worth $300,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "We're just beyond excited," said Principal Jennifer Chastain.

The district hopes to break ground on the greenhouse during the upcoming school year. It will include a restroom, workspace, and enough room for 100 tower gardens — which are sustainable aeroponic growing systems.

Chastain said students enjoy getting their hands dirty, learning about where food comes from, and sharing what they grow with others. "We've had students that have learning difficulties that just absolutely thrive with this type of learning. We try to plug them in and meet their needs right where they are at," she said. "It's just so fun, especially seeing the young students be able to take ownership."

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