Maryland sees green schools, preparing students for horticultural careers


It looks a lot like Christmas at Parkside High School in Salisbury, with red and white poinsettias lining the tables of greenhouses and poinsettia flags and holiday wreaths welcoming patrons as they pick up plants and tea and gift packages. of honey at the A + garden center managed by students.

Since its opening in 1999, the Center has grown into one of the largest educational enterprises in the country. Students do all the work, from planting and selling to online promotions for over 100,000 vegetables, herbs, poinsettias and perennials.

These sales help support business and educational initiatives, particularly Parkside’s horticulture program, which is also supported by community partners who provide in-kind resources and services.

Heading the program is Jerry Kelley, who grew up in his family’s Montgomery County landscaping business in the 1980s, then went to work in the fashion industry as a buyer. and manager for several decades. “It’s a way of giving back,” he said. “Our mission is really just to provide students with opportunities to get involved in all aspects of green industry, the environment, where they feel comfortable, and where they have a way, where they have a passion.”

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