care professionals receive special invite to visit DMACC greenhouse
- DMACC Horticulture students traditionally open the DMACC
greenhouse for a public plant sale at the end of every spring semester.
- This spring, the public sale had to be canceled due to
COVID-19, but students had already begun raising hundreds of plants.
- An idea to recognize and thank local health
care workers with a special donation began to grow instead.
- UnityPoint Health-Des Moines is a longtime
Students enrolled in the DMACC Horticulture Program’s Greenhouse Production II
(AGH276) course traditionally spend each spring semester tending to robust rows
of vibrant flowers and plants in a modern greenhouse on the DMACC Ankeny
Campus, culminating with a public sale that showcases their work.
This spring, however, the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of
DMACC campuses and centers meant plans to hold a public sale were scrapped –
but a new idea soon sprouted. After considering a variety of options, DMACC
decided to donate approximately 1,500 containers of student-raised plants and
flowers to local UnityPoint health care workers and facilities.
“This was a unique opportunity for us to do something
special for local health care professionals, including many DMACC graduates,
who have been working tirelessly to respond to COVID-19 in our community,” said
DMACC President Rob Denson.
The DMACC donation included a recent invitation for
UnityPoint health care workers to visit the DMACC greenhouse, with protective
gear and social distancing in place, and choose from a wide variety of spring
bedding plants and annuals in packs, pots and hanging baskets to take home and
enjoy, free of charge. Additionally, DMACC donated a variety plants to the
UnityPoint grounds team for landscaping use around the UnityPoint Taylor House
Hospice, Ronald McDonald House and several UnityPoint Clinics.
UnityPoint Health-Des Moines is a longtime DMACC partner,
and the UnityPoint Health-Des Moines Health Sciences building on the DMACC
Ankeny Campus houses state-of-the art classrooms and clinical training space
for nearly 20 health science programs, including the College’s Nursing,
Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), Respiratory Therapy, Medical Laboratory Technology and
Paramedic Specialist Programs. A UnityPoint Health Physical Therapy Clinic is
also located inside the Trail Point Aquatics & Wellness Center on the DMACC
“We are privileged to partner with DMACC by offering
physical and aquatic therapy to patients in our community,” said Dan Sweet, PT,
Manager of Outpatient Therapy Services at UnityPoint Health-Des Moines. “We
were excited to share DMACC’s offer of the plants and flowers to members of our
Younker Rehabilitation team, including nurses and physical, occupational and
speech therapists. The DMACC students produced a beautiful crop of flowers and
plants this year, and the offer helped brighten the day for many during this
time of uncertainty.”
DMACC Horticulture Program Chair and Professor Randall Vos
said the program’s annual spring public sale typically grosses more than
$10,000. Those funds are put back into the program to cover plants material and
supplies, as well as DMACC Horticulture Club learning trips to regional
horticulture hubs. A core group of seven DMACC Horticulture students helped raise
this year’s spring crop, which they began planning with Vos during the fall
“We were pleased that our spring crop could be donated in a
meaningful way,” Vos said. “During challenging times, people often regain an
appreciation for nature and its positive influence on our well-being.”
DMACC President Rob Denson said the donation was also an
example of how communities are strengthened through education and student
“DMACC is proud to educate and train future health care
professionals, and to work closely with UnityPoint Health in those efforts,”
Denson said. “We also take great pride in educating future horticulture
professionals at DMACC and in the value of their work.
“Our students’ successes help make a lasting difference in
To learn more about the DMACC Horticulture Program, visit www.dmacc.edu/programs/horticulture. For more information
about DMACC Health Sciences Programs, go to www.dmacc.edu/programs/pages/health.aspx.
For more information, contact: Karen Stiles, (515) 208-0838, firstname.lastname@example.org