State College

Civic pride blooms in State College garden

Scot Chambers is the helping lead Keller Williams Advantage Realty as they agree to help be stewards of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy garden located along College Ave., in State College, May 21, 2015.
Scot Chambers is the helping lead Keller Williams Advantage Realty as they agree to help be stewards of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy garden located along College Ave., in State College, May 21, 2015. CDT photo

In the green loop of grass that grows where University Drive passes over East College Avenue, something is starting to blossom.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy community garden is filled with new life. The dark earth is dotted with green leaves. The zinnias aren’t flowering yet, but some of the peppermint vincas are already showing tiny five-petaled white blooms with a red kiss in the middle.

Last year, there were questions about whether the long, beautiful beds across from campus would continue to sprout, as the dedicated group of volunteers from the Penn State Alumni Association was starting to shrink.

But on Saturday, that handful of hardy perennials were joined by a fresh crop of new seedlings from Keller Williams Advanced Realty.

“It’s the entrance to State College. It’s good to present a nice appearance and a warm feeling, and there’s a need for an awareness of the natural world,” said Scot Chambers.

Just like a garden needs a mix of plants, sun and water, the project has lots of groups coming together to make it succeed. The volunteers did the planting and will weed through the summer, but the annuals themselves were supplied by the conservancy. Scott’s Landscaping prepped the ground and State College mows the surrounding lawn and handles watering.

Chambers said that Keller Williams made a three-year commitment to participation, seeing it as a year-long extension of the service projects they do.

“It’s important to give back to the community we live in,” Chambers said.

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