With great weather to begin the fall season, Community and School Partnerships hosted its first Visit IU Program event for the 2019-20 academic year on Tuesday, October 1st. Students from Bloomington’s Crestmont Boys and Girls Club enjoyed their trip to Hilltop Gardens, a nature preserve at IUB that provides educational opportunities for students and the surrounding community. Hilltop also offers gardening classes for adults and volunteer opportunities for all.
Hilltop staff gave the group a tour of the many gardening plots available on the scenic grounds of the facility. Students were able to pick apples, harvest and smell some of the herbs that Hilltop grows, and even plant their own spinach plants.
After the tour, students had a chance to fertilize and hydrate potting soil that was then placed into small plastic flower planters. After the containers were filled with soil, the students placed spinach seeds into each planter. The last step, and probably their favorite, was to set the plants in the greenhouse and water them as a group.
Following the gardening activities, CSP Program Associate Jim Melichar and Graduate Assistant Manny Cantu sat down with the students and talked about what they had learned. Cantu touched on how as a college student, it is always good to have a hobby to get one’s mind off the daily demands of higher education. Coming to volunteer at Hilltop Gardens is one of those potential hobbies one can enjoy at IU. CSP staff also distributed a Passport to Your Future guide-book to each participant and helped students fill out a page in their booklet.
Madison Gooldy, Good Character & Citizenship Director at the Crestmont Club, works with CSP to coordinate these events. She asked the group if anyone had tried something new at Hilltop, and almost every student said yes. “It was wonderful to get our members out of the club and onto campus,” Gooldy stated after the program. “Hilltop gave our teens the opportunity to explore their talents in a field they may not have gotten the chance to experience otherwise.”
CSP is looking forward to welcoming Crestmont members back to campus for next month’s activity.