April 24, 2010

Gateway dedicates Ball Demonstration Gardens

Light spring rains didn’t keep hundreds of visitors away from  the many exhibits, hands-on demonstrations and market items at Celebrate Earth Day hosted by Gateway Technical College today.

The event at Gateway’s Kenosha campus provided several ways to learn about environmental issues. Attendees picked up free Japanese lilac and oak tree saplings and compost, children enjoyed hands-on activities, and adults posed questions to gardening and bicycling experts and learned about different ways they can positively reuse, recycle and impact the environment – and their pocketbook.

Jeannine Rollette watches her son,
Andrew, transplant a seedling

One of the highlights was the dedication of the Ball Horticulture Demonstration Gardens, which will provide hands-on training for Gateway students and add beauty to the Kenosha Campus. The gardens will encompass about 1,000 sq. ft. and will be a trial garden for new Ball Horticulture Company hybrid plants.

“Having these gardens will allow us to not only introduce students to the basics, but also to work with and evaluate those hybrids that aren’t even introduced to the public yet,” said Gateway Technical College Horticulture instructor Kate Field. “Consumers are always looking for something different, something new. This will introduce students and community to those newer flowers.”

Ball develops, produces and distributes seeds and plants and operates in 20 countries. The gardens will be trial plots for hybrid flowers which have yet to be distributed. Gateway students will be trained in how to scientifically evaluate the flowers for growth, flowering, disease resistance and vigor. They will also be trained in design, maintenance and marketing plants they will be growing and evaluating.

“I think these gardens will also be a benefit to the college, and to the community,” said Field. “These beautiful gardens will provide a quality image for our residents to enjoy – and for businesses and folks considering moving to Kenosha to realize that we value our community.”

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