Annual Greenhouse sale benefits students and community partners

The Cincinnati State Landscape Horticulture program’s annual Greenhouse Plant & Flower Sale, conducted throughout May 2021, raised nearly $13,000 to help support student participation in next year’s National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC).

Greenhouse Manager Kelly Wanstrath said the “big trend” at this year’s sale was interior plants. Word spread quickly through social media about the variety, size, and health of Cincinnati State plants, and attracted new customers.

“Many new faces from throughout the tri-state came to visit the Greenhouse this year,” Kelly said. “They were amazed, and they will be coming back!”

The NCLC, to be held at North Carolina State University in 2022, gives Horticulture students opportunities to apply their skills in fun, team-building competitive events while interacting with students from all over the country, and meeting with industry leaders.

Kelly said the Greenhouse sale also supported a fundraising collaboration with the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s native plant program.

Cincinnati State selected plants from the Zoo’s eco-farm to include in the sale. Half of the proceeds for sales of these plants were returned to the Zoo, while the other half will support the Horticulture Club students.

The annual sale also benefits the community beyond the Cincinnati State campus.

  • The Horticulture program donated about 200 plants to Happen Inc., a community organization in Northside with a program that employs teens in horticulture jobs.
  • The young people in the Happen Inc. program grow vegetables that are donated to Churches Active In Northside, which provides a food bank for those in need. The Happen Inc. students also plant and maintain streetside floral pots, and sell plants and cut flower bouquets.

Kelly thanked Horticulture students Hanna Fritz and Joani Means for many hours of volunteer effort over the past few months to help to make the sale possible.

“The campus Greenhouse is a hands-on lab that gives Horticulture students experience that expands their education and career options,” Kelly said.

Most plants available at the sale were cultivated during classes including Horticulture Botany, Interior Plants, Herbaceous Plants, and Greenhouse Management.

Student horticultural work also contributes to the floral landscaping of Clifton Campus.

The next Horticulture fundraiser will be the annual poinsettia sale, which will begin in late November or early December– so watch for more information in about six months!

(Photo provided by Kelly Wanstrath)