US (NE): 2020 poinsettia sale brings changes, success, community support

It can be unsaid that 2020 brought uncertainty to everybody’s lives. Faculty, staff and students have attempted to normalize as many things as possible, but it’s required innovation to do so.

Officers of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln recognized student organization Horticulture Club decided to press forward with their usual plant production activities as this has allowed students to hone their cultivation skills and remain connected to one another.

“The club has a loyal customer base and we felt their sense of loss when the spring bedding plant sale was unable to happen,” said club co-advisor Stacy Adams.

Realizing that in-person sales was out of the question, the club reached out to UNL Marketplace to assist in developing a virtual sales platform. “Everything was new to us so there was a steep learning curve in managing the sales, preparing orders and scheduling customer pickup,” Adams said.

Horticulture Club has proudly grown the poinsettias displayed at the university’s winter commencement ceremonies, for IANR student recognition and provided plants to several departments for banquets and staff gifts.

Plants and supplies were ordered in March just days before COVID-19 remote learning and distancing mandates were implemented. It was a calculated risk to plan for a poinsettia plant sale but ultimately the students adapted, loyal customers were able to return and support the club, and those extra plants not used at graduation and for departmental activities — they spread cheer to those most in need. CHI Health St. Elizabeth hospital received 40 plants, Bryan Health Remote Covid Testing Teams were given 30 plants, Fencerock Subsidized Retirement Community received 20 plants, Haven Manor Assisted Living Residence were given 20 plants and Lakeview Assisted Living Residence received 20 plants.

The club thanks everyone for their support, and apologizes to those who missed the sale due to the changes that occurred.

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Stacy Adams)

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