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Issue: 1237 Date: 5/8/2014
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Student Volunteers Learn and Acquire Service Hours Planting At Broemmelsiek Park

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        St. Charles County, Missouri - Nearly 40 students from the Wentzville School District took a field trip to Broemmelsiek Park near Wentzville to participate in a volunteer day of planting as part of their school curriculum on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. The students, half from Holt High School and the other half from Timberland High School, are enrolled in the Career and Family Leadership class, and needed 10 service hours to complete the course. Volunteering with the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department's new historic educational agriculture area in development at Broemmelsiek Park was the perfect opportunity for the students to complete their service hours, while giving back to the community.

        "The St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department is proud to offer local students the opportunity to learn and acquire service hours while volunteering in our parks," said Parks Director Bettie Yahn-Kramer. "These volunteers are our greatest treasure."

        The students learned about horticulture and got to participate in heirloom and traditional planting while working in them four-acre historic educational area. When development of the area is completed, it will serve as an outdoor interpretive site that focuses on the history of agriculture in St. Charles County, and will feature a variety of crops, shrubs and trees that were harvested. The area should be open to the public by fall, and will serve as a learning experience for the community. During certain times of the year, St. Charles County Parks Department staff and volunteers will host educational demonstrations with the vegetables, fruit, nuts and plants harvested on site.

        "It's important for these students to get out, get involved and work in their community, because it's the place they will work, live and grow," said Holt High School Family Consumer Science Teacher Kimberly Voss. "Volunteering with the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department was the perfect hands-on opportunity to for them to learn about horticulture, while assisting with a community project."

        "The semester-long class not only teaches the students leadership skills, but it exposes them to various career opportunities and skills," said Timberland High School Family Consumer Science Teacher Cherie Boren.

        Before getting to work, the student volunteers arrived at Broemmelsiek Park at 8:30 a.m. and were given an overview of the planting project by St. Charles County Parks Horticulturist Gail Schatzler. They planted two gardens; a dye garden and a medicinal garden. The dye garden was filled with garlic seed, purple cone flower, live forever, lavender and rattlesnake master. Red onions, beets, golden rod, day lilies, privet, barberry and marigold were planted in the medicinal garden. The students ate lunch at the park and departed by noon. Both Voss and Boren are interested in visiting the historic educational agriculture area at Broemmelsiek Park in the future, so that more of their students will have the opportunity to enjoy the same learning experience.

        School groups, organizations, corporations or businesses interested in participating in a similar volunteer program, or in becoming volunteer gardeners at the new historic educational agriculture area at Broemmelsiek Park, can contact the Parks Department at (636) 949-7535.

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