Gardening classes offered at Discovery Garden

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Gardening enthusiasts are invited to attend a series of gardening classes held in cooperation with Hollidaysburg Borough and Penn State Extension.

Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to noon April 5, 12 and 19 at the Hollidaysburg Borough Building and 9 a.m. to noon April 26 at the Discovery Garden.

Tom Ford, area commercial horticulture educator with Penn State Extension, Cambria County, teaches the classes.

The series of classes are free and open to the public. In return, participants agree to volunteer 18 hours at the Discovery Garden in Legion Park throughout the growing season from May to October 2013.

Participants will receive a certificate of completion after the classes are over. Volunteers agree to work a minimum of two to three hours a week during the gardening season.

Volunteer assignments include spring cleanup, planting, weeding, deadheading, guiding garden tours and helping with special events. Other opportunities are available for volunteers interested in providing educational activities for individuals participating in the horticultural therapy program of Skills and other community groups.

Class topics will include:

Session I: Plant Health Care Begins with Soil Quality. Ford will discuss how gardeners can improve soil fertility through the use of cover crop, compost and organic fertilizers.

Session II: Plant Health Care Starts with Plant Selection, Planting and Maintenance. Ford will discuss how to expertly select, plant and maintain landscape plants.

Session III: Plant Health Care: Using Integrated Pest Management Techniques in Landscape Settings. Ford will discuss how to apply IPM practices/techniques in your garden and landscape.

Session IV: Plant Health Care: Application of Horticultural Best Management Practices in Landscape Settings. Ford will demonstrate how gardeners can employ best management practices through hands-on activities at the Discovery Garden.

The Discovery Garden is a project of the Skills Foundation, which provides programs and support to people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness.

One of the Skills Foundation’s programs is the Horticultural Therapy program at Discovery Garden.

The program provides opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to be involved in their community while experiencing the benefits of horticultural therapy, such as exercise, socialization, improving motor skills and lessening anxiety.

To register for classes or for more information, contact Patti Duron at the Hollidaysburg Borough Office at 695-7543, ext. 301. The registration deadline is March 30.