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Wiehe Honored By 'Keep Delaware Beautiful' for Bulb Planting


January 21, 2005

Barbara Wiehe's favorite part of early spring is when last fall's bulbs pop through the soil and become this year's spring flowers. Wiehe's commitment and dedication to planting bulbs at Ohio Wesleyan earned her the Community Stewardship Award from Keep Delaware County Beautiful.
 
Wiehe, greenhouse manager of Ohio Wesleyan's Moore Greenhouse in the Schimmel/Conrades Science Center, began the volunteer bulb-planting program two years ago. "I started it because I thought the campus could use a boost in the spring," says Wiehe. "I think the bulbs are a great pick-me-up for the campus as the semester winds down, finals start-up, and we head into graduation."
 
The primary planting takes place on a day in the fall. Wiehe has had as many as 90 volunteers show up to plant nearly 20,000 bulbs. "We've had great response from the students," says Wiehe. "Not just science majors but a blend of everyone on campus. Last year we had a fraternity volunteer, we've had floors of residence hall units compete and I'm hoping to get more of the Small Living Units involved. The units are proud of their houses and maybe we can do some more individualized landscaping with each house."
 
It is a sense of ownership that Wiehe thinks goes beyond just putting some soil on a bulb. "I think it helps retention," says Wiehe. "The students have made an investment in the beauty of Ohio Wesleyan ­ they planted these bulbs in the fall and they are going to want to stick around and see the results of their work in the spring."
 
Wiehe's work begins well before the actual planting day. She selects and marks the beds that are being used; contacts Ohio Wesleyan's Building and Grounds to break-up the beds and prepare them for planting; and solicits and coordinates the volunteers for the planting day.
 
"This is a huge project to coordinate and it helps the entire Ohio Wesleyan community," says Assistant Professor of Botany/Microbiology and Zoology Dr. Laura Tuhela-Reuning, Wiehe for the award. "I thought Barb needed to be recognized for her efforts because it was a great way to involve the OWU community while beautifying the campus."