An opportunity to provide students with practical work experience while adding to the beautification of the community is a “win-win” result of a partnership between Snead State Community College and the City of Boaz.
The partnership began following a meeting between College and City officials back in the fall of 2020. The idea was to support the College’s horticulture program while adding to the aesthetic improvement of the city. Then came a $7,500 contribution from Boaz to Snead State that is the first of many opportunities resulting from this new partnership.
“In October, I had the opportunity to meet with Mayor Dyar, City Councilman John Willis and Boaz Beautification Board members Suzanne Vann and Bonnie Hunt to discuss how the city and the horticulture program could partner together to provide opportunities for students and beautification for the city. The initial concept is for students to grow plants at the Snead State greenhouse and to install those plants in the downtown planters, around the new (Old Mill) park, etc.,” said Snead State Instructor Dr. Tom Warren, who leads the horticulture program. “This provides several hands-on activities for students while supplying the city with means to meet beautification initiatives.”
In addition to the hands-on experience, students will also apply knowledge they learn in the program to determine the best plants and flowers to use for the project.
“We’ll look at the location and determine what works best as far as how tall they’ll grow, how much water or maintenance they’ll need, and other factors. If the flowers are to go along a major intersection, then we know not to plant something that will be tall and hinder visibility for motorists,” said Dr. Warren.
“We’re excited to see the horticulture program grow and expand in such a way that it can benefit our community while providing practical experience for students,” said Snead State President Dr. Joe Whitmore. “We appreciate the City of Boaz’s support and willingness to see this partnership grow.”
Dr. Whitmore and Dr. Warren met with Mayor Dyar and City Councilman Josh Greer for the presentation of the $7,500 contribution on Tuesday, March 16. When the partnership between the College and the City was being discuss, Mayor Dyar approached Mr. Greer with the idea and received the councilman’s wholehearted endorsement.
“I see this as an investment for our city as well as into the future of Snead’s students,” said Mr. Greer. “I believe Snead plays a major role in the infrastructure of the city. Not every small city has a college to draw from as a resource, and so we’re blessed to have Snead in our backyard.”
“I’m thankful of how Dr. Whitmore viewed the importance of us working together. I believe there is unlimited potential and opportunities for both parties. I hope we can provide more opportunities to benefit students where they can apply the excellent education and training they receive at Snead and receive job experience to add to their resume. It’s a win-win partnership,” said Mayor Dyar.
Snead State Community College added a greenhouse to the Boaz campus in 2019 to benefit the horticulture program. The greenhouse, another example of a successful partnership for the College, was funded by two grants one from the Marshall County Legislative Delegation and one from the Alabama Mountains, Rivers, Valleys Resource Conservation and Development Council.
“A goal of mine would be to see the horticulture program grow until we have to add a second greenhouse to accommodate the needs of the students and the program,” said Dr. Whitmore.
For more information about the horticulture program, please visit www.snead.edu or contact Dr. Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org.