The annual greenhouse spring plant sale is a special highlight for the Lorain County JVS Landscape and Greenhouse Management students. “Spring sales will always be our biggest sale of the year,” shared Victoria Sprague, junior in the landscape program.
This year the
sale could not take place due to COVID-19 and the JVS campus closure. Beth
Berthold, Landscape and Greenhouse Management instructor, was taking care of
the plants throughout the crisis, and once the sale was officially cancelled, she
knew she had to come up with a solution for the plants. She immediately thought
of the Lorain County Metro Parks.
“We are regular customers of the JVS greenhouse. We had planned on purchasing flowers from the greenhouse again this year,” said Senior Naturalist Matt Kocsis
“Ms. Berthold contacted us to discuss the donation of all the plants to the Metro Parks, which allowed us a wider selection of material to use,” Kocsis shared. “We were very pleased that we could be a part of the solution for the plants during this time of uncertainty. We know the quality of the plants from the JVS program and were sure that they would fit the needs of landscaping several park areas including entrances, buildings and gardens.”
The plants are being used in practically every park in the Metro Parks system. You can find some in the botanical gardens at Lakeview Park, Schoepfle Garden, and Miller Nature Preserve. Miller Nature Preserve also is using them for their butterfly display. The park’s naturalist staff has been working on outreach programs and ways to interact with the community and repurposed some of the plants as gifts to nursing home residents.
“When we picked up the plants they were in bloom and ready for planting or display,” said Kocsis. “I don’t think that we were quite ready for the sheer number of flats, hanging baskets and pots and it took several trips with trucks and trailers to move them all.”
The Metro Parks is planning on returning most of the pots and flats to the JVS for reuse in the future. “By recycling them we can reduce future costs for the program and minimize the materials going to the landfill. This is a positive for JVS and reinforces the Metro Parks commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling materials whenever possible,” Kocsis shared.