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US: Learning center grows horticulture program

The Chester County Intermediate Unit’s (CCIU) Horticulture program is in full bloom as it grows into a new space. The new Horticulture Center, located on the campus of the CCIU Learning Center in Coatesville, will serve as a collaborative space where students are able to prepare for careers in the horticulture and landscaping industries through hands-on experiences with real clients and community partners. The CCIU celebrated the official opening of its Horticulture Center in Coatesville on Friday, November 19, 2021.

“Over the last four years, I have seen the program move from our old greenhouse into this new building. It has become a new home for me and the other students in the program. I have always loved being outside and this new center has helped me do what I love and learn the skills I need to be successful after I finish school,” said Ziglar, a current student in the Horticulture program.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was followed by student-led tours of the space designed by Breslin Architects. In addition, guests learned about a blossoming partnership between the CCIU Learning Center Horticulture program and the Chester County Food Bank. As part of the program, the students donate fresh vegetables produced in the greenhouses to the Chester County Food Bank.

“Our students have been utilizing our greenhouses to produce food to gain important career skills and help give back to their community. So far, our students have harvested over 30 pounds of lettuce from these new greenhouses, all of which have been donated to the Chester County Food Bank. We hope to continue to grow this partnership as part of our mission to help every student reach their full potential and contribute positively to our society,” said Gerhard.

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