YSU Greenhouse Renamed in Honor of Sandy Simon

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Ward Beecher Science Hall Greenhouse at Youngstown State University is being named the Sandy Simon Greenhouse, in recognition of a $450,000 gift to renovate the facility.  

The Sandy Simon Greenhouse consists of three greenhouse chambers; the renovation included heating, ventilation, and air conditioning upgrades. The beautification of the adjoining hallway and entrance to the greenhouse was also completed, along with other elements. 

The renovation brought the third bay of the greenhouse – known as the research-ready chamber – back to availability, as it has been unusable for several years.   

“The “research-ready” renovated bay will provide an opportunity for faculty and students to perform actual research – this has not been an option for 16 plus years and now it is,” says Ian Renne, associate professor of ecology. 

The updated chamber will also allow for reliable plant reproduction in terms of vegetable and native perennial plant growth for community gardens, and for the usage of undergraduate lab exercises for STEM students.  

Sandy Simon had a lifelong love for nature. She was born in Youngstown and grew up in Liberty Township with her parents and brother, Michael. She eventually bought a house and a horse farm in Vienna, Ohio, with over 75 acres of land. The land allowed her to enjoy a variety of trees and wildlife right in her backyard. That farm, which was named the Double S Ranch, allowed her to raise, breed, train, and show horses for over 30 years. 

Simon also took an interest in the world of herbs. As the owner and operator of Moonhawk Herbals, she farmed, packaged, and sold herbs as well as held educational classes on their benefits. She held the belief that they could greatly help people, no matter what their situation was. 

Upon her death in 2016, her estate was left to a trust that decided upon donating the proceeds from the sale of her farm to name and renovate the greenhouse.  

A small dedication ceremony was held Thursday. 

Pictured above: Simon family members and YSU officials dedicated the Sandy Simon Greenhouse Thursday. From left are Kim Simon, Jeff Simon, Wendy Weiss, Charlie Masters and YSU President Jim Tressel. 

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.