June 8 2020 08:09 AM

Students supplied flowers and plants to workers and facilities free of charge.

ronstik / Adobe Stock

Students at Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, Iowa, provided about 1,500 containers of student-raised plants and flowers to health care workers and facilities for UnityPoint Health, Des Moines, Iowa, according to a Des Moines Register article.

The students, part of the college’s Horticulture Program’s Greenhouse Production II course, would traditionally have grown flowers and plants for a public sale. As the campus was closed because of COVID-19 shutdowns, those plans were set aside. Instead, students raised and donated plants to Unity Health after looking at several options. A group of seven DMACC horticulture students raised this year’s crop, which began with planning in the fall semester.

“This was a unique opportunity for us to do something special for local health care professionals, including many DMACC graduates, who have been working tirelessly to respond to COVID-19 in our community,” DMACC President Rob Denson says in the article.

UnityPoint health care workers visited the DMACC greenhouse with protective gear and social distancing guidelines in place to choose spring bedding plants and annuals in packs, pots and hanging baskets, free of charge. Plants were also donated to the UnityPoint grounds team for landscaping use around the UnityPoint Taylor House Hospice, Ronald McDonald House and other clinics.

The program’s annual spring public sale usually grosses more than $10,000, says Randall Vos, DMACC horticulture program chair and professor, in the article. The funds are put back into the program to cover plant material and supplies as well as DMACC Horticulture Club learning trips to regional horticulture hubs.