CREEC Greenhouse Youth Group Report, January 2020

By Kay Smith

CREEC Greenhouse was open seven days in December (on Wednesdays and Saturdays, except for Wednesday the 25th, Christmas Day). We will continue this winter schedule in this new year. Please make a plan to come visit this beautiful place on Saturdays from 10 am-2 pm and/or Wednesdays from 1:30 pm-dark. There is always something growing!

With the rain and cooler weather, we have no watering to do! It is really exciting to spend all our time working with the plants. There’s always weeding to do, and we make sure to look for dormant plants so as not to dump them out thinking the pot is only full of weeds. A red or blue tag marks the ‘sleeping’ ones. Native milkweeds, many grasses, herbs, and trees go dormant in the winter. Trees just drop their leaves and you can see them standing bare in their pots, but other plants leave no trace on the top of the soil. That is why the labels are so important.

We have lots of acorns caged up and waiting to sprout from 2019. The 2018 acorns are growing well and we will divide them into the 4-inch tree pots as they get bigger. We have also started lots of seeds. We will begin dividing them as they grow. Baby seedlings are my favorite task and it is exciting to watch them grow.

I had to move, but CREEC got my outdoor furniture! The round table with holes in it makes a much better workspace for the students to work around and get more done. Students continue making clones from our gardens and doing plant grooming tasks. We find that Aloe vera leaves with holes poked through them and nested in pumice stone root well. We are having nearly 100% success with milkweeds, roses, and salvias so far—we will keep you posted.

We transplanted some ferns that escaped onto the greenhouse floor one rainy day and weeded inside the greenhouse. It was a very busy and productive day. We even have lots to do in the rain at CREEC! We will continue with our plant propagation and weeding on Saturdays from 10 am-2 pm and Wednesdays from 1:30 pm-dark in 2020 until Spring Break when it gets a little warmer. The students and I would love to show you around. Most of the plants are for sale to the public, and we have lots of different plants and trees, both native and non-native, for your growing pleasure.

CREEC News: CREEC-David Hicks Memorial Scholarship Fund

We are proud to announce the formation of the CREEC-David Hicks Memorial Scholarship Fund!

A principal amount has been invested with a target to generate $1,200 to $1,500 per year and to be split equally between two deserving youngsters who have been involved with CREEC. The two scholarship winners will split the funds available at the end of every school year for their designated and declared continued education plan, beginning with the Class of 2018.

The process: each spring, CREEC kids that are finishing high school and planning any sort of continued education will submit an essay to the CREEC Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will then review and pass along all qualified applicant’s essays to the surviving family of original CREEC co-founder and Board Director, David Hicks.

Dave passed away in early October 2016. He was the guts of CREEC for over twenty years. Dave found it very rewarding to garden with the kids and watch their progress in life while working with CREEC over the years. Many did not know that Dave placed a huge value on education—he even earned a PhD. What better way to remember David Hicks than to invest funds from his CREEC efforts that will, in turn, allow continued education for CREEC youth?

I hope this might motivate some kids to get involved at CREEC. Thank you, Dave Hicks, for your years of dedication!