Huntingdon Skills group keeping community garden alive

Local News

HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — A good garden is a lot of work, but it can also be a great way to learn.

That’s something the program Skills of Central PA in Huntingdon County knows well, as they’ve been keeping plants alive for a while.

The garden is the main entrance to Huntingdon Borough and the green thumbs who help take care of it are glad so many in the community get to enjoy the blooms.

At the Gateway Garden, skills members have been hard at work.

“When it gets too hot out it needs to be watered and we come out and water it and we check on the flowers every day,” Skills member, Kristy Black said.

“For the last couple of months I’ve been watering them with the hose spray, them all over and look how they are now, they are back alive again,” Skills member, James Dunkle said.

The skills program supports adults with intellectual disabilities and many members see the work they do as more than just volunteering.

“I like this, this job,” Skills member, Doyle Howcroft said.

“A lot of them think this is a quote-on-quote job that they have to do as well because they feel that responsibility for making sure that this looks good for everybody,” Huntingdon Skills Direct Support Professional April Daugherty said.

The experience comes with plenty of lessons.

“You have to be patient planting the flowers and stuff like that,” Skills member, Laune Hunt said.

And a feeling of accomplishment.

“I do good work there and I do good work on this,” Skills member, Mary Frederick said.

At the end of the day, community members are appreciative that people are putting in work to beautify their town.

“They maintain it for me now, they water it for me and take care of it, they pull a few weeds, but they love it, they’re proud of it and when they drive by they can tell their family this is their garden,” Huntingdon Borough Council Member Dee Dee Brown said.

Skills will continue to take care of the garden all summer long and they are looking into ways of expanding it.

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