John S Toll Science Center at Washington College

About this Project

Located in Chestertown Maryland, Washington College is a private institution of higher learning offering over 40 degree programs. What makes Washington College special is this: it’s the first college chartered after the Americans gained independence from the British, in 1782. It’s also the only school that George Washington helped to fund, with 50 guineas.

John S Toll Science Ctr
John S Toll Science Ctr

Sitting on 112 acres in a rural area of Maryland, the college is uniquely situated between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic beaches.  Students on the path to an environmental study degree have plenty of outdoor options.  And in inclement weather or controlled studies, there is 3 room greenhouse on the third story of the John S Toll Science Center.

The greenhouse is more than just another place for plants, it is a true research greenhouse.  While garden greenhouses are typically used for recreational or hobbyist gardening, research greenhouses are used for scientific research and experimentation.

Research greenhouses, like the one at Washington College, are often designed to support specific research objectives, like developing new crop varieties, studying plant responses to environmental stressors, or investigating plant physiology and biochemistry. 

Research greenhouses are usually constructed with much larger and more complex features including multiple rooms or sections with specialized environments.  This research greenhouse has many features that allow students to complete the study of climates, conservation, and energy.  The 3 rooms offer the ability to control conditions and separate plants into growing areas. 

While a garden greenhouse is typically used by home gardeners to extend the growing season of plants or start seedlings earlier in the year, the Washington College greenhouse was built specifically to study plant growth and development in a controlled environment. This helps students who are following career paths in agronomy, climatology, and similar earth-based studies.