(Posted July 14, 2016)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Madison County Master Gardeners are known for giving back to the com-munity in the form of education. Now, they’re doing so with cash attached in the form of an annual college scholarship.
The volunteer group awarded their first scholarship to Josiah A. Grimm, a Plain City resident, on July 8. Grimm plans to study landscape horticulture with added business classes at The Ohio State University’s Wooster campus starting this fall.
Grimm stood out among the scholarship applicants for his involvement in horticulture on several fronts, including charity, education and work, said Shirley Kindrick, Master Gardeners vice president.
Grimm has grown and donated hundreds of pounds of produce to the Plain City Food Pantry as a three-year grant recipient of Katie’s Krops, a non-profit organization that provides seed money to youths to start gardens to raise produce for charities.
The teenager took landscape design and management classes at Tolles Career and Technical Center and the Knox County Career Center, earning state certification as a landscape nursery technician at the latter.
James Scott, supervising instructor at Knox County Career Center, said Grimm has a strong work ethic, passion for working with others, and a desire to learn.
For the past two years, Grimm has worked on the landscape maintenance and enhancement team at Greenlawn Specialists. His employer, Scott Germann, praised Grimm’s “can do” attitude and ability to learn quickly.
Additionally, Grimm won the national championship in landscape construction cost estimating at the National Collegiate Landscaping competition. His 72 competitors were all two- and four-year college students.
The Master Gardeners’ new scholarship fund is supported by sales from the group’s annual plant sale and cash prizes earned the past couple of years for their award-winning programs, including a Darby Creek Watershed tour.
The group plans to award one $500 scholarship each year to a Madison County resident who is graduating from high school or already in college and pursuing a degree in plant science. Possibilities include agronomy, botany, horticulture, forestry, landscaping, environmental science and conservation.
Madison County’s Master Gardeners are a program of the Ohio State University Extension. Their purpose is to educate the public with timely, research-based gardening information. To learn how to become master gardener or to ask a gardening question, call the local Extension office at (740) 852-0975.