Horticulture club has students "greening" from ear-to-ear
By Heather Klopfenstein
Photo provided by Shannon McGrath
Members of the Horticulture Club gain valuable landscaping experience during the annual Horticulture Show. Members transform a bare asphalt space into a haven from school pressures.
Do you like a) growing things, b) working outside, c) meeting fun people, d) traveling or e) all of the above?
No matter what you answered, the Horticulture Club at Purdue University is your type of club. With 30 to 50 members, there are many people to meet and work with. "It helps you make connections with other people in horticulture, be a little more personal," said Nicole Hauke, a fifth-year senior in general agriculture from Shelbyville, Ind. Hauke also enjoys the Horticulture Club because you don't have to be a horticulture major to be a part of the group.
Josh Welker, a junior in the landscape horticulture and design program from Elkhart, Ind., transferred to Purdue last year. Being involved in the club gave Welker a sense of place. "You're able to get to know other people, and you feel a part of the campus," Welker said. "Getting involved with the club was a really good way for me to meet more people. I get to meet up with friends, see how classes are going."
When Welker found out about all the activities the club is involved in, his interest was piqued. "I decided it would be educational to learn about new things going on and take trips with other interested students to horticulture-related sites," Welker said.
One such trip, taken last fall, was to St. Louis, Mo. Students went to Anheiser-Busch, botanical gardens and the St. Louis Arch. Any Horticulture Club member is able to go on these trips, which the club helps pay for.
Another activity the Horticulture Club is involved in is the Horticulture Show. The show is part of Spring Fest, a university-wide festival that takes place during early spring. The Horticulture Show gives every member a chance to work outside, practicing the art of landscaping. The Horticulture Club takes a paved circular drive on campus and transforms it into a garden. Design ideas are created by a board member, and then the whole club votes on what design they want to create.
"The whole week before Spring Fest you come in and out whenever you can and work on it," Hauke said. "It definitely gets you landscaping experience."