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Horticulture students volunteer during PLANET Day of Service

By Staff | May 4, 2010

Penn College horticulture students fix up the landscaping at the First United Methodist Church in Montgomery for Earth Day on April 22

MONTGOMERY – In observance of Earth Day, a select group of students from the horticulture club of the Pennsylvania College of Technology were on hand to help a Montgomery church clean up their long over-due grounds and landscaping.

With the help of parishioner, Mary Tennant, and club advisor, Carl J. Bower, the group spent about two hours late Thursday afternoon, April 22 at the First United Methodist Church in Montgomery on the corner of West Houston and Bower Streets.

“Their service will be part of a nationwide annual event sponsored by PLANET, a Professional Landcare Network,” explained Bower. Last year there were more than 280 projects completed across the country and over $400,00 in time and services donated to local communities. The Professional Landcare Network is a national trade association for the lawn and landscape industry. It helps accredit the program for the Pennsylvania College of Technology according to Bower who is also a Horticulture Instructor for the college.

The project gives the students an opportunity to plan, organize and carry out green service projects that benefit their community. “It is truly a hands-on experience,” Bower said, “and a lab in progress.”

The horticulture program is located in the Earth Science Center in Allenwood where the students came up with a design for curbside appeal and a Memorial garden for the church. Church members will be able to bring in a plant or flower and place it in honor of a loved one explained Rev. Richard M. Barner. “The students are doing a wonderful job and this is truly a blessing for our church,” he added.

“Most of these students are in their second year and have some experience in the field,” said Bower.

“They really seem like they know what they’re doing,” said Mary Tennant. “They came here and got started right away and started working around the building.”

The group spent most of the afternoon clearing debris, moving plants and preparing beds for some annuals. “We had a lot of weeding and transplanting to do and got rid of a lot of invasive perennials,” said Joshua Towson, a student from York County.

On May 3, the greenhouses at the Earth Science Campus in Allenwood will be open with many annuals for sale during the entire month of May. All of the plants were started and raised by the horticulture students.