Whittier’s Walk Phase II



Our students are at it again! They cannot be stopped! During the Spring 2020 semester our Learning by Leading™ (LxL) Urban Horticulture Co-coordinators (CoCo’s) worked with their interns to design and plant Phase II of our Whittier’s Walk commemorative garden, using skills they developed while working with our campus landscape architect last fall to design Phase I.  In March, when the campus shut down due to COVID-19, the planning went virtual, but that did not slow our students down.  They made the adjustment to Zoom meetings, completed the design, and we approved it by the end of the semester.

Although the Arboretum was not able to host the large volunteer planting event that the students had hoped for, the students were determined to get the garden in the ground earlier this summer, especially because one of our inaugural Urban Horticulture CoCo’s was graduating. Our students have been able to continue to work as they are deemed “essential personnel” due their role in helping with basic operation and maintenance of the Arboretum Park site. We are grateful that one of our strong program supporters, Baker Commercial Landscaping, was able to assist with site preparation for the garden, which was particularly helpful when our campus landscape resources were limited due to the shutdown.

The students sourced the needed plant material, gathered a handful of LxL students, and contacted a few friends and supporters of the Arboretum including our devoted supporter Mrs. Barbara Whittier, to help with the garden planting. We wore our masks, practiced social distancing, and had a great morning getting our hands dirty together.  It was hot and humid, as are most summer days in Florida, and everyone was exhausted when we were done, but the team got the garden planted and it looks amazing. We hope you will have a chance to come visit and check it out!  We are proud of our students’ hard work and determination.

As the Fall semester begins the CoCo’s have hired our new LxL interns, who are continuing to maintain the Arboretum Park, including planning new spaces.  During the Fall semester the CoCo’s will be designing an “Instagram Photo Hot Spot” at a special location near the entrance to the site, while leading their interns in reimagining a small floating island garden just outside the Arboretum office.  Additionally, they will be doing soil testing and amendments to prepare for “The Hostess” garden, a camellia and gardenia garden we intend to plant in the Spring, and they will assist in designing and planting a bioswale project on the edge of the Arboretum Park. Did we mention they cannot be stopped?  Stay tuned for the Fall newsletter to get the updates on these projects and more.

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