-1.6 C
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Connecting Our Communities

Elmira university student wins horticultural society scholarship


Restored Victorian home in Elmira the subject of TV competition

Along with the influx of visitors that comes with the holiday season, Elmira will see one new...

New MP jumps to the next stage

Ever since he was elected as the new Liberal Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga during the October...

Meet the candidates

By Veronica Reiner & Aneta Rebiszewski Five candidates are vying for your vote in...

Historical Society Annual General Meeting

The 42nd Annual General Meeting of the Historical Society of St. Boniface and Maryhill Community was held...


light snow
-1.6 ° C
0 °
-3.9 °
84 %
90 %
-2 °
-3 °
2 °
4 °
3 °

Blake Doerbecker is the recipient of the $500 scholarship award funded by the Elmira and District Horticultural Society. This award aims to acknowledge students with a strong passion for agriculture or horticulture.

Doerbecker is an Elmira resident entering his third year at the University of Guelph, majoring in landscape architecture. The funds will go towards his tuition. To qualify, applicants are required to submit an essay detailing their past, current and future role in horticulture.

“Blake applied at just the right moment,” said scholarship fund coordinator Karen Smart. “We were impressed with his essay, which expressed not just his appreciation for the beauty of a well-planned garden, but also the psychological benefits and, at the same time, showed an awareness of the ecological considerations that he’ll bring to his designs. From our point of view, it highlighted the growth in insight and awareness that came from his continued studies and illustrates precisely the appreciation and understanding that we hope all of our scholarship winners will achieve.”

Doerbecker’s interest in horticulture runs in the family, as his grandmother, Grace, is a member of the Elmira and District Horticultural Society.

“I’ve always been into outdoors. My mom always does plants around the house and hanging baskets and stuff like that, so I’ve always been around it,” said Doerbecker.

Despite knowing he had an interest in gardening and the outdoors, Doerbecker faced confusion when confronted with the ‘what do you want to do with your life’ question in the twelfth grade.

“I had no idea what I wanted to do. Like no idea,” said Doerbecker with a laugh. “And so the guidance counsellor was kind of like ‘okay, well what are your interests?’ I said ‘I like the outdoors, I played a lot of sports, I like being active and being outside.’ And I took art all the way through high school. She had the idea of doing something that combines all of my interests. She recommended landscape architecture.

So I researched it a little bit, I thought it sounded pretty cool. And I’ve always liked gardens, so I figured. ‘hey, might as well design a couple.’”

Doerbecker mused on the possible career options that he could pursue with the degree, including working at a landscape architecture firm, working in the public sector, and design and planning firms.

“I enjoy the program,” said Doerbecker. “It’s a lot fewer essays and book writing, and it’s more kind of open and design based. So you draw a design, you don’t like it, you scrap it kind of thing – just kind of build off each other. And it’s a nice group. It’s not a big class with 400 people in it – it’s fairly small, so like 60, 70 people so you know everybody in the class. And everybody kind of just bounces ideas off each other.”

The scholarship has been handed out for more than a decade; however, there have been several years where the horticultural society gets no applicants.

“It was originally intended for Woolwich students in their graduating year of high school, who were enrolled in college or university courses involving horticulture or agriculture,” said Smart. “That’s a broad spectrum of possibilities but, even still, there are of course years when we received no applicants. With that in mind, two years ago, the EDHS board of directors decided to extend our target audience by including post-secondary students.”

In the years where the society receives no applications, the money goes to Elmira District Secondary School to be divided equally between the greenhouses and an award of excellence, related to horticultural or agricultural activity, which will be presented to a deserving student at the fall convocation.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


Strong demand for traditional real Christmas trees can exceed supply

With Christmas just a few weeks away there’s only a short time left to pick out the perfect tree, but what will you choose: real or fake? Many retailers are facing dilemmas that...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Jacks fall to second after losing twice over the weekend

Sunday’s lousy weather may not have been to everyone’s liking, but the Wellesley Applejacks might have been the only ones happy...

Kings win another pair, solidify hold on first place

Seven is considered a lucky number. The Sugar Kings likely agree after putting up seven goals twice on route to a pair...

Putting the cold on ice with the annual hat and mitten toss at Saturday’s Sugar Kings game

There’ll be no need to wait until somebody scores three goals to toss hats out onto the ice, as the Elmira Sugar...

Even those with jobs are increasingly reliant on food banks

An increasing number of full- and part-time workers across Ontario are accessing food bank services, a trend that can be seen in...

Answering the childhood question that rolls around at the holidays

Get into the Christmas spirit with a fresh retelling of a classic tale inspired by real events in Elora Community Theatre’s lastest offering.

Getting drivers to slow down a slow process in Woolwich Township

Traffic issues, particularly speeding, are a frequent source of public complaints received by Woolwich officials. Often more perception than reality, the topic is...
- Advertisement -