Newsroom > DHHS News Release

May 28, 2010

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287,

Greenhouse Gets Things Growing at the Beatrice State Developmental Center; Open House Set for June 24

Lincoln – A 40’ x 100’ greenhouse is letting people at the Beatrice State Developmental Center (BSDC) get into gardening in a big way.

“The greenhouse came to us used, but it’s new to us and we love having it,” said Jodi Fenner, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities in the Department of Health and Human Services. “Our former greenhouse wasn’t usable by anyone needing a wheelchair. This one has paved paths and raised beds and can accommodate up to 60 people at one time, so anyone who’s interested can work with the soil and plant whatever they want.”

The public is invited to come to the open house on Thursday, June 24th. The Beatrice State Developmental Center and the Beatrice Chamber of Commerce are partnering on a ribbon cutting ceremony at BSDC at 10:15 a.m. that day.

Fenner said that having this greenhouse is just one example of the innovative changes taking place to improve the lives of people at BSDC.

“There’s something therapeutic about working in a garden that benefits both mind and body,” said Nancy Sedlacek, Vocational Services Coordinator at BSDC. “We’ll provide seeds and some plants, but if anyone wants to plant something special, they can bring seeds of their own.”

The greenhouse will be available year round. People raising flowers or vegetables can have them for personal use, give them away to friends, or even take them to the Beatrice Farmer’s Market to sell. Sedlacek said she and her staff will provide assistance if needed. People can learn skills that may develop into paid jobs in the community, also.