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Category Archives: Cal Poly Hort Club

Learn By Doing: Get Involved in Clubs!

Andi Goodman, AEPS Student concentrating in Public Horticulture

Andi Goodman, AEPS student

Andi Goodman, AEPS student

Learn By Doing: Get Involved in Clubs!

During my first two years at Cal Poly, I had underestimated all of the countless opportunities that were available to me. I would occasionally volunteer for events such as Open House and other highly advertised functions, but I wasn’t quite as involved as I should have been.

When I entered my third year at Cal Poly, I took Melinda Lynch’s Floral Design class and a new world opened up to me. I was in love with making floral designs and would always look forward to attending her classes. From that point on, she invited me to join her Floral Design Club on campus. Our club meets once or twice a month during which we organize and make floral designs for upcoming events on campus. These events are usually for other clubs or departments such as banquets and award dinners. Not only do we make arrangements for clubs and departments but those for dinners hosted by President Armstrong.

Feeling that I was part of a group has given me a sense of belonging and encouraged me to seek more involvement. This year I became the President of the Floral Design Club as well as the Marketing Chair of the Environmental Horticulture Club. Through these clubs I have attended many volunteering opportunities that have led to future career options. I have also met driven and passionate faculty members in our Horticulture and Crop Science department that know people who are in the Horticulture field, which has become a great way for me to network with professionals in the industry. The only regret I have at Cal Poly is not getting involved sooner, “Learn by Doing” is exactly what we do here!

"Not only do we make arrangements for clubs and departments but those for dinners hosted by President Armstrong."

“Not only do we make arrangements for clubs and departments but those for dinners hosted by President Armstrong.”

"I would occasionally volunteer for events such as Open House and other highly advertised functions, but I wasn’t quite as involved as I should have been."

“I would occasionally volunteer for events such as Open House and other highly advertised functions, but I wasn’t quite as involved as I should have been.”

The AEPS booth for Open House, designed by Andi Goodman

The AEPS booth for Open House, designed by Andi Goodman

Setting up the AEPS booth for Open House

Andy Klittich helping to set up the AEPS booth for Open House

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Disneyland Horticulture

Disneyland Horticulture

Hallie Schmidt, AEPS student

On April 14, 2013, twelve members of the Horticulture Club drove down to Anaheim, CA to Disneyland theme park and resort. We got to spend our entire first day enjoying the park- going on rides like Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean and enjoying classic Disneyland treats like churros and giant pickles. In the evening we went to the home of one of our members, Cody, whose parents had prepared for us an incredible dinner of authentic carne asada and chicken tacos. We were so grateful for their hospitality – it was a long day of driving and running around the park!

It was a long day of running around the park!

It was a long day of running around the park!

"We got to spend our entire first day enjoying the park- going on rides like Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean"

“We got to spend our entire first day enjoying the park- going on rides like Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean”

The next morning we woke up at 5am to get ready for our 6am tour with the Disneyland horticulture staff. Their regular working hours are 2am-10am so that visitors never see the anybody working in the park. After going through a rigorous security check, we met with Dave Garza, the manager of Disneyland Horticulture operations, and a few members of his staff on the back lot. They call this back lot “back stage” where all the prep goes on: a small nursery, growing topiaries, etc. “On stage,” or the park itself, workers were in giant bucket lifts trimming trees or hedging shrubs and topiaries. We walked through almost the entire park in less than an hour (no crowds at this time!) and our tour guides told us all about what it takes to keep their colorful annual beds looking so spectacular, how they grow the grass on Splash Mountain, and how they keep the Jungle Cruise looking and feeling like a real jungle, the IPM program among many other interesting horticulture secrets.

Beautiful Roses at Disneyland

Beautiful Roses at Disneyland

The next morning we woke up at 5am to get ready for our 6am tour with the Disneyland horticulture staff.

The next morning we woke up at 5am to get ready for our 6am tour with the Disneyland horticulture staff.

our tour guides told us all about what it takes to keep their colorful annual beds looking so spectacular, how they grow the grass on Splash Mountain

“Our tour guides told us all about what it takes to keep their colorful annual beds looking so spectacular, how they grow the grass on Splash Mountain.”

They call this back lot "back stage" where all the prep goes on: a small nursery, growing topiaries, etc.

“They call this back lot “back stage” where all the prep goes on: a small nursery, growing topiaries, etc.”

Overall, we accomplished a lot in a short time which was exhausting, but we learned a lot and had a lot of fun. This summer one of our club members will be interning with Disneyland in the horticulture department! Who knows, one of the horticulture managers graduated from Cal Poly in 2010…maybe we’ll be seeing more Cal Poly HCS grads working there in the near future.