Community Garden Needs Volunteers
March 12, 2019 5:00 AM
by Centre County Gazette, Connie Cousins
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Are you feeling the urge to plant something and watch it grow? This is the time of year when would-be gardeners have scoured the seed catalogues for ideas and may have placed their orders already. Flower lovers long for the soil to be thawed and warm enough to accept a trowel.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is seeking volunteer garden stewards for its community garden in State College, at the intersection of College Avenue and University Drive.

Lynn McGuire-Olzak, volunteer coordinator for the Western PA Conservancy (WPC), said, “We need volunteers. We operate with as many as 12,000 volunteers a year to plant and care for our 132 gardens. We usually start planting around the first of May. Volunteers typically work for three to four hours to plant the garden. Later in the summer, the volunteers handle the pruning, watering and weeding to keep the gardens healthy and blooming into the fall.”

WPC is seeking stewards to “adopt” this garden. Individuals, community groups or businesses interested in signing up should contact McGuire-Olzak at (412) 586-2324 or [email protected].

The conservancy purchases the flowers, mulch and water to help establish and maintain the gardens. They provide the tools and some representatives of the WPC are present to make sure that all is well with the site. They even provide compost bags for the debris as weeding is done later in summer.

Not everyone is aware of all the things WPC does in the region. A non-profit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped to establish 11 state parks, conserved more than a quarter million acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams. The conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, which symbolizes people living in harmony with nature.

Fallingwater is a house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 and located 43 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. It is built partly over a waterfall on Bear Run in the Mill Run section of Stewart Township, Fayette County. Wright built the home for the Kaufman family, founders of Kaufman department stores.

The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, such as the maintenance of Fallingwater, is accomplished through the support of more than 9,000 members.

The local garden was started in 1999 and has provided a splash of beauty and color enjoyed by many ever since.

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