HANCEVILLE – Each Tuesday afternoon this semester it’s been common for Wallace State students, faculty or staff to peek outside the Computer Science front window and admire the landscaping work being conducted at the building’s courtyard.

“We seem to have an audience each week. Students and instructors are starting to notice the work being done. They wind up stopping to watch and seem to be taking pride in the work we are doing,” said Wallace State’s Anthony Hilliard, department head of the Horticulture/Agricultural Production program. “Our landscaping students take pride in it as well and hope to turn what was an unattractive area into a beautiful project.”

Students in Wallace State’s Landscape Construction course have embraced the courtyard landscape renovation class project, and set about improving the area each week. The Landscape Construction class meets each Tuesday from noon to 3 p.m. Half of the time students spend in the classroom and the rest is spent redesigning the Computer Science courtyard, utilizing the project for lab work.

“We’re having a ball with the project. We’re eager each week to go out to the courtyard,” said student Chris Stone, a freshman in the program. “We jump anytime we can attack a project hands-on. It’s definitely going to look nice when it’s all said and done.”

A handful of factors led to the landscaping overhaul, but one of the final blows came when the April 2011 tornadoes significantly affected the aesthetics of the landscaping around Computer Science building, one of the harder hit structures on campus.

“It was in bad shape before the class started working on it. There was tons of debris still lingering around from the tornado and weeds and vines growing all around it,” said Hilliard, who recently completed his first year with the department. “Before the class stepped in, we ripped out the weeds, put down some mulch and planted a row of flowers. We’re going to plant more flowers and shrubs, spruce up the entire area and excavate a spot to put in a patio. The students are making sure this is going to look beautiful once it’s said and done.”

Hilliard is repurposing materials such as gravel and sand that were stockpiled in his department to save on cost for the project.

Landscape Construction students are sharing a myriad of responsibilities. In the middle of the courtyard, one student was tilling the ground for the patio area, while two others were smoothing and scooping out the dirt around him. Others were working with shovels, rakes, hoes or a wheelbarrow. Near the building’s windows, students were raking pine straw and placing it evenly around the newly-planted shrubs. Others were working on the flower bed.

“I believe this has helped us grow closer as a class. Each of us is willing to work together to get something done,” said Stone, a Morris resident. “If a wheelbarrow needs emptied, someone does it. If there are weeds that need to pulled, someone takes care of it.”

When the semester draws to a close, Hilliard believes the Computer Science courtyard will develop into one of the more delightful landscaping sights on campus.

“It’s great to see the students embracing it. It’s a learning project, and there’s no better way for them to get real life experience than to do tackle projects on campus,” said Hilliard, who added he is already scouting other areas on campus as potential landscape projects. “Students are usually more prone to enjoy doing something with their hands than having to read all about it in a book.”

In addition to the popular Landscape Construction class, other class options in the department this semester include Introduction to Floriculture, Nursery Production, Greenhouse Crop Production and a Seminar in Horticulture/Forestry.

For more information about the Wallace State Horticulture/Agricultural Production Department, visit wallacestate.edu, or contact Hilliard at 256.352.8035 or anthony.hilliard@wallacestate.edu.

 

IMG 7286: Wallace State students, from left, Johnnie Wood, Wyatt Heard and Keith McCormick each shovel dirt during Landscape Construction class as the group works to renovate and spruce up the Computer Science Building courtyard.

IMG 7286: Wallace State students, from left, Johnnie Wood, Wyatt Heard and Keith McCormick each shovel dirt during Landscape Construction class as the group works to renovate and spruce up the Computer Science Building courtyard.

IMG 7305: Landscape Construction student Jeff Bittinger, left, uses a hoe around a shrub, while Lynda Deaver rakes pine straw during class.

IMG 7305: Landscape Construction student Jeff Bittinger, left, uses a hoe around a shrub, while Lynda Deaver rakes pine straw during class.

IMG 7309: Wallace State Landscape Construction students, from left, Wyatt Heard, Chris Stone, Nathaniel Turner and Keith McCormick work at the Computer Science courtyard during class this semester.

IMG 7309: Wallace State Landscape Construction students, from left, Wyatt Heard, Chris Stone, Nathaniel Turner and Keith McCormick work at the Computer Science courtyard during class this semester.

 

 ______________________________

 

Russell Moore

Staff Writer

Wallace State Community College

P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077

1-866-350-9722    256-352-8443 direct

256-339-2422 cell

Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu

 

Kristen Holmes

Director, Communications & Marketing

Wallace State Community College

P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077

1-866-350-9722   256-352-8118 direct

256-352-8314 fax   256-339-2519 cell

 

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