Walters Gardens Gets $95K Grant for Expansion
The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) on March 16 approved $95,000 in grant money to support more acres of greenhouses at Walters Gardens in Zeeland.
“Walters Gardens is thrilled to receive this grant funding for our new expansion project,” Aren Phillips, Greenhouse Systems Manager, said in a news release from MDARD. “It will help our company increase the availability of our top-quality product for our valuable Michigan growers, as well as growers nationwide. It will also help create new jobs in the West Michigan area in an exciting and innovative industry.”
Walters Gardens will use the performance-based Food and Agriculture Investment Fund grant of $95,000 to construct a 40,000 square-foot production facility with four acres of automated greenhouses, according to MDARD. The site is being prepared for 20 acres of greenhouses over 10 years in three construction phases. This grant will allow for hiring up to 50 new employees of various skill levels.
Walters Gardens is a family-owned business that started in 1946 with five acres of bare root perennials, according to the news release. In 1976, they added a tissue culture lab, and in 2004, they started their own in-house breeding program. Walters Gardens supplies genetics for the Proven Winners brand and Walters Gardens introductions. The company offers over 1,000 perennial varieties in its catalog, sold as bare-root plants and plug trays.