Bella Greenhouse: helping plants, and kids, grow

parsons greenhouse

Tim Nicholson helps plants and people grow at Bella Greenhouse

By Dawn Padfield

The sign for Bella Greenhouse is a small one and a little unexpected.

It's propped up at the entrance to the Parsons Child and Family Center Complex on Academy Road in Albany. Parsons is a multi-service agency that works closely with families and children offering counseling services, youth development programs, and mental health services and other programs.

So where does the greenhouse come in?

Tim Nicholson has run the greenhouse at Parsons for the past three years. He coordinates a work program where youth from Parsons work at the greenhouse. He designed the program to nurture green thumbs in the kids while teaching them basic skills they will need once they enter "the real world." According to Tim, this first job teaches them the job responsibility needed to succeed once they leave Parson's.

Tim's students do get paid for their work. He says sometimes the kids show up and sometimes they don't, but for the most part it is a positive experience for everyone who gets involved. Also, the money generated from their plant sales goes toward supporting the agency.

Greenhouse 3.jpg

Greenhouse 2.jpg

While the selection is not as varied as you'll find at larger garden centers, the small greenhouse is filled with a nice variety of annuals, perennials, herbs, and hanging baskets.

When I checked it out last week, everything was, for the most part, still green and waiting to bloom. But Tim anticipates the greenhouse will be filled with color in time for Mother's Day. (Hint, hint.)

greenhouse sign.jpg

Prices range anywhere from $1 for some herbs and smaller pots to $20 for your average hanging basket. I left with a good collection of flowers and herbs for under $10. "If you have a dollar," Tim says "you can buy something."

The bargains are great, but the best part is you can look at your plants all summer, and know they've helped you to do some good.

Find It

Bella Greenhouse at Parson's Child and Family Center
60 Academy Road
Albany, NY 12208

Monday – Friday from 8:00am – 3:00pm

Comments

It is awsome there, I know because I'm one of the students @ NHS that work there every single Friday!!!!!!

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine