Burst pipes leave dead plants and destruction at Michigan State University’s Butterfly House

Burst pipes leave dead plants and destruction at Michigan State University’s Butterfly House

EAST LANSING — Dan Polkowski walked Wednesday through Michigan State University’s greenhouses, showing what was left of the January cold snap and winter storm after burst pipes wreaked havoc on the university’s horticultural facilities: a nearly empty room with a few sad plants, many… Some of them were built more than normal and hung for life.

The plants referred to by the greenhouse manager at Michigan State University survived — barely — after being frozen for up to 10 days. They were luckier than many others, which was a loss.

Less than 12% of the plants in two of Michigan State University’s 14 greenhouses survived the cold snap and the lack of warm air circulating in the greenhouses. All 14 greenhouses had damage to the water pipes that help heat the facilities, and there was damage to plants throughout.

An aftershock could mean not enough food for the caterpillars in the Butterfly House, no ficus trees for weddings and other on-campus events, and less green space on a campus known for its agriculture and plant life.

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