News about Landscape/Horticulture

Horticulture students ‘scare up’ clever projects for civic display

'SpongeBob Strawpants," spatula at the ready to flip a Krabby Patty, draws immediate attention from neighborhood children.

More than a dozen scarecrows created by Penn College horticulture/landscape technology students were installed Thursday in Way’s Garden, a well-tended oasis of greenery at West Fourth and Maynard streets, where they will remain from First Friday through Halloween. The Way’s Garden Commission worked with Carl J. Bower Jr., an assistant professor in the college’s School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies, who has been developing the idea in his mind since seeing a similar project at Hershey Gardens in 2011. Bower’s students eagerly accepted the challenge, working for the past few weeks to prepare their seasonal creations for what is planned as an annual attraction. An additional scarecrow was prepared for the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce headquarters in downtown Williamsport.

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Last updated October 5, 2018 | Posted in Faculty & Staff, Landscape/Horticulture, Students, Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies | This gallery contains 17 photos. | Tagged as | One Comment

Horticulture Alumnus Testifies Before House Committee

Joseph C. LutherA 2002 graduate of Penn College’s landscape/nursery technology major testified Wednesday morning before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and the Workforce. Joseph C. Luther, a horticulture and landscape instructor at Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology, was among 23 invited panelists for a bipartisan Innovation Forum and Showcase. During his three-minute testimony at the hearing, the award-winning educator discussed the hands-on success of his students in community projects and the importance of forming professional relationships with industry partners. In follow-up questioning by U.S. Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson, whose 5th District includes CPI’s campus in Pleasant Gap, Luther shared a pair of success stories from career and technical education: a student with Down syndrome who has found full-time employment with a Centre County greenhouse and another who, while not enrolled in horticulture, was mentored by Luther into a lucrative welding job on a Marcellus Shale pipeline.

Recent Graduate to Attend Industry Event as ‘HortScholar’

National “HortScholar” Aaron A. Sledge Jr., a May graduate in landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis, welcomes Open House visitors to a Penn College greenhouse.

A May graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s landscape/horticulture technology program is one of six 2018 HortScholars invited to a premier industry event in Columbus, Ohio, this summer.

Aaron A. Sledge Jr., who earned an associate degree in the major’s plant production emphasis, will attend AmericanHort’s “Cultivate 18” event at the Greater Columbus Convention Center from July 14-17.

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Faculty Member Again Volunteers at FFA Convention

Carl J. Bower Jr.For the seventh time in eight years, horticulture faculty member Carl J. Bower Jr. lent his services during the Pennsylvania FFA Convention and Activities Week. The event, held June 12-14 at Penn State’s University Park campus, attracted high school students from across the commonwealth. Carl J. Bower Jr., an assistant professor in Penn College’s School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies, judged the Prepared (Conservation) Public Speaking competition and co-chaired the Nursery & Landscape Career Development Event. Pennsylvania FFA’s mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

Shower of Sparks Brings May Flowers

In the welding lab (from left), Sparkman, Nolan and Carlson display their towering, flowering creation ...

... before it was transported "over the mountain" and installed at its permanent location outside the ESC.

An instructor and two students in his Gas Metal Arc welding class created an appropriate greenhouse sign for the Schneebeli Earth Science Center, home to Penn College’s horticulture/landscape technology major. The project began when Facebook-posted photos of metal roses crafted in Matt W. Nolan’s welding lab on main campus caught the eye of a faculty colleague at the ESC. “I asked him if he would be interested in creating a new sign for our Greenhouse #3,” said Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture, noting that the existing sign – a small piece of wood into which the facility’s name was carved – was rather dated. “He and his students came through and created a fitting sign for us.” Nolan was joined on the job by welding and fabrication engineering technology majors Daniel C. Carlson, of Linesville, and Tyler J. Sparkman, of Aliquippa. “Carl said he planted sunflowers in this greenhouse, among other plants, so I thought some steel sunflowers would be perfect. I also wanted to create a piece of art that would stand the test of time much like that old wooden sign was struggling to do!” Nolan said. “The students did such a great job and also created a piece of artwork that showcases the skills they have learned. I’m very proud of Ty and Dan’s hard work on this project, as well as all the welding students in our program.”
Photos by Bower

Milton Youngsters Observe Arbor Day With ESC Visit

Sledge delivers a hydroponics lesson ...

... as well as a primer on how plants grow.

Studying cones

Young hands help Bower plant a tree ...

... then proudly stand by their work.

The Milton YMCA’s Early Childhood Learning Center brought 34 kids, ages 2-5 years, to Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center on Friday morning to celebrate Arbor Day by planting a weeping cherry tree, learning the value of trees and how plants grow, visiting the hydroponics lab, and potting a plant. The 2- and 3-year-olds also listened to Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture, read Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax.” Landscape/horticulture technology students Aaron A. Sledge Jr., of Pittsburgh, and Gabriela J. Grandy, of Belleville – both enrolled in the major’s plant production emphasis – worked with the children in potting plants, and showing them the greenhouse and hydroponics. “Even though it was a wet day, we were able to work through the raindrops to get the tree planted and enjoy some of the flowering trees in the arboretum,” Bower said. “The kids didn’t even mind getting a little muddy.”
Photos provided

Penn College Retains National ‘Tree Campus’ Designation

Partners in Penn College's ongoing status as a national Tree Campus mark the designation outside the Schneebeli Earth Science Center, home to the institution's landscape/horticulture technology and forest technology majors. From left are Don J. Luke, director of facilities operations; Justin W. Beishline, assistant dean of transportation and natural resources technologies; Andrea L. Mull, horticulturist/grounds and motorpool supervisor; Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture; and Andrew Bartholomay, assistant professor of forestry.

For the third consecutive year, Pennsylvania College of Technology has been honored with Tree Campus USA recognition for effective forest management and for engaging employees and students in conservation goals.

The national program was created by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor educational institutions for their commitment to trees and for helping to provide solutions for the global challenges to air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, and energy use.

Penn College earned the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards: maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and a student service-learning project.

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Penn College Students Vie at National Horticulture Competition

Representing Penn College in a recent national landscape competition are (from left) Trevor C. Gagliano, Hughesville; Jacob R. Courtley, Ardara; Griffin T. Fulton, Mertztown; Bryce P. Thompson, Enola; Michael S. Shreiner, Wayne; Timothy J. Dunker, Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J.; Adriana S. Lee, Williamsport; Aaron A. Sledge Jr., Pittsburgh; faculty member Carl J. Bower Jr.; Kyle J. Schatz, Saint Marys; and alumnus Ronald A. Burger.

Four Pennsylvania College of Technology horticulture students were among the top finishers in their five respective categories during the 42nd annual National Collegiate Landscape Competition held recently in Graham, North Carolina.

Michael S. Shreiner, of Wayne, placed eighth out of 51 competitors in Skid Steer Loader Operation; Aaron A. Sledge Jr., of Pittsburgh, finished ninth among 76 participants in Interior Plant Identification and 12th of 76 in Flower and Foliage Identification; Shreiner and Jacob R. Courtley, of Ardara, were 10th among 32 teams in Arboriculture Techniques; and Griffin T. Fulton, of Mertztown, was 14th of 47 in Exterior Landscape Design.

The students were among nine Penn College landscape/horticulture technology majors that journeyed to the event, co-sponsored by the National Association of Landscape Professionals and held March 14-17 at Alamance Community College.

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Horticulture Student Earns Scholarship; Faculty Member Recognized

Scholarship recipient Aaron A. Sledge Jr., a Penn College landscape/horticulture technology major from Pittsburgh, is joined by Daniel Eichenlaub, chair of the Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association Foundation and president of Eichenlaub Inc., a Pittsburgh-based landscape construction and maintenance firm.

A Pennsylvania College of Technology student was recently awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association Foundation at an event that also shone a spotlight on a faculty member’s longtime commitment to the industry.

Aaron A. Sledge Jr., of Pittsburgh, a second-year student in landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis, was among the honorees at the organization’s Pennsylvania Green Industry Forum and Member Recognition Event at the Hershey Country Club.

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Landscape Grad Recognized at Chamber’s Education Celebration

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour presented Alumnus of the Year honors to Christopher E. Keiser, a project manager in Larson Design Group's Civil/Site Department.

A landscape architect whose impressive career began a quarter-century ago at Pennsylvania College of Technology received an Alumnus of the Year Award at Thursday’s 17th annual Education Celebration hosted by the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce at the Williamsport Country Club.

Christopher E. Keiser, a project engineer at Larson Design Group and a 1995 graduate of Penn College’s landscape/nursery technology major, was among those lauded at a well-attended event that pays tribute to alumni, educators and students nominated by their respective educational entities, and recognizes the linkages among Lycoming County school districts, colleges, and business and industry.

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Mentorship Award Presented at Penn College Commencement

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour presented the Mentorship Award to alumnus Jeremy L. Thorne at the college’s Fall 2017 commencement ceremony Dec. 16.

Pennsylvania College of Technology presented a Mentorship Award to alumnus Jeremy L. Thorne, owner and operator of ThorneCare Landscape Solutions LLC, in Sugarloaf.

The award was bestowed upon Thorne by Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour during the Fall 2017 commencement ceremony, held Dec. 16 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

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Penn College to Again Make Impression on Farm Show Attendees

Students in Penn College’s hospitality majors join their instructor, Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, on the Culinary Connection stage at the Pennsylvania Farm Show last January.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors will soon flock to the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center to celebrate the commonwealth’s leading industry, and Pennsylvania College of Technology students and employees will be on hand for an interactive peek into the real-world applications of “degrees that work.”

“A beloved tradition of Penn College, the Pennsylvania Farm Show continues to be the highlight of the new year. During the weeklong festivities, members of Admissions, Alumni Relations and Academic Affairs bring Penn College to Harrisburg and showcase all of the amazing opportunities that await students on campus,” said Claire Z. Biggs, coordinator of admissions events and services. “Through our interactive and hands-on activities, we hope that friends of the college will come to learn what makes applied technology education so special.”

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Creativity Reigns in Scholars-and-Scents Display

'Tis the season for yuletide greenery, beautifully incorporated by Rachel L. Hill, of Centre Hall, enrolled in landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis.

Applied management student Brittany L. Mink, of Allentown, who earned a baking and pastry arts degree in 2016, designed this delicate entry in the Wedding Composite category.

Andrea L. Solenberger, of Harrisburg, pursuing a degree in applied management, honored her baking and pastry arts degree with delicious detail.

The black, gold and green of Jamaica's flag is recreated by Jessica T. Haynes, a culinary arts and systems student.

Another baking and pastry arts alum enrolled in applied management – Alexis L. Kepley, of Reading –  stacked "cupcakes" that are too pretty to eat!

End-of-year projects in The Art of Floral Design, an elective taught by alumna/business owner Karen R. Ruhl, form a striking array just inside the Madigan Library entrance. The class (HRT 260) is open to all students, regardless of academic major or experience level, and each final piece is chosen in conjunction with the instructor to ensure that it is “neither too simple nor too complicated to complete in the given time period.” The designs are created using the accumulated fundamental skills learned during the semester, and students choose the container, flowers and foliage required to implement them, as well as meet all the requisite elements and principles. The projects will be on display through Tuesday.

Popular Poinsettia Sale Underway at ESC

Limited assortment of poinsettias available at ESC

Greenhouse filled with seasonal color

The annual poinsettia sale continues at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center, where the opening week’s brisk sales haven’t depleted the inventory (although some colors are limited). Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and purchases are on a first-come, first-served basis. All transactions are “cash and carry,” and there will be no early sales or holds. (The greenhouse is closed Saturday and Sunday.)
Photos by Jeanie L. Krape, secretary, School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

A ‘Touch’ of Class

A variety of materials await exploration by Head Start children.

Students in the plant production and landscape emphases of the college's horticulture major collaborate on a project tailored for younger hands.

Kahn (left), who envisioned the mosaic, works with Goldsmith to breathe life into the design ...

... which has beautifully taken shape in the final array.

Penn College’s Horticulture Club has created a sensory path for STEP Inc.’s Early Head Start program on Four Mile Drive in Williamsport. The path comprises several squares with materials to engage the senses of those who touch them. The path features nine distinct textures: a stone mosaic, composite decking, bricks, flagstone, logs, artificial turf, smooth granite, mountain stone with sedums, and ajuga. Club members used PVC pipe to separate the sections so that the children can add paint to it. From left in the group photo are landscape/horticulture technology majors Katherine L. Kahn, Williamsport; Breanne R. Goldsmith and daughter, Liberty; Michael D. Ludwig, Glenside; Benjamin A. Mowrer, Manheim; Quinn R. Loudy, Middleburg; Laura J. La Grave, Lewisburg; Griffin T. Fulton, Mertztown; Bryce P. Thompson, Enola; Mark C. Ludwig, Glenside; and Kyle J. Schatz, St. Marys. (Also helping, but not pictured, were Adriana S. Lee, Williamsport; Kendall A. Wanner, Denver; Jacob R. Courtley, Ardara; and Janelle G. Kramer, Minersville.)
Photos by Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture

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