Growing a Great Partnership
The Great Parks of Hamilton County landscape department has partnered with the Diamond Oaks horticulture program for several years. The early periods of this partnership involved the horticulture program producing plants for Great Parks. We were also fortunate to pick up an outstanding landscape technician, Brandon Garman, through an internship with the Diamond Oaks horticulture program nine years ago.
Over time, the partnership between our two organizations has continued to grow. Diamond Oaks horticulture students have produced container plantings for Great Parks using materials and designs provided by the park district. Jerry Frankenhoff, Great Parks’ landscape manager, also spoke to the students of Diamond Oaks about careers in public horticulture and parks and discussed the use of technology in producing container designs.
This year, the partnership continued to draw upon the talented students of the Diamond Oaks CareerX program. The students produced 52 container plantings, which were distributed to 14 different locations throughout Great Parks. These planters are visually striking pieces of our park landscape with their lush plants, robust colors and cascading leaves.
Diamond Oaks’ CareerX program is designed to help special education students explore different career paths and discover careers that match their skills, abilities and work preferences. Through their collaboration with Great Parks, the students in this program learn about many aspects of the workplace including receiving goods, managing inventory (and perishable inventory at that!), following a design and instructions, general plant biology, time management and the use of practical mathematics. The partnership helps students learn important skills like teamwork, collaboration, volunteerism and interactions with new people.
However, the benefits of this collaboration aren’t all for the students of CareerX. With access to superior greenhouse facilities and ample time, the students provide Great Parks with beautiful, creative planters with healthy, well-rooted plants that can withstand the elements.
So thank you Jim Hansel and the students of the Diamond Oaks CareerX program for all of the hard work that went into producing these beautiful planters!
Jessica McQuigg & Jerry Frankenhoff, Operations