Grand Haven’s Spring Meadow Nursery and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) have announced that the Spring Meadow-Proven Winners Endowment Fund has topped $800,000. The funds are raised by Spring Meadow’s customer base of “Plant Geeks” and matched by the company, assuring the continued availability of capital to support scholarships and horticultural research.
Dale and Liz Deppe established the Spring Meadow-Proven Winners Endowment Fund with HRI in 1999 with the belief that bright, well-trained and qualified people are essential to the green industry and that backing motivated students plays a vital role in protecting and growing the industry. HRI helps students obtain the education necessary to successfully pursue horticultural careers.
“Our team has been blessed by this industry and the mentors who’ve helped us along the way. That’s why we are pleased to award these scholarships. They are a core part of our personal desire to encourage emerging professionals," said Dale Deppe. "It’s gratifying to support these particular students in such a direct way.”
A total of 26 Spring Meadow-Proven Winners Scholarships have been awarded to students since 2004. Last November horticultural students Kristin Neill, Madeline Olberg, and Cornell Ph.D. student Brandon Miller, were recipients of the 2017 round of scholarships, bringing the total amount of awards distributed to over $63,000. The students were chosen from a competitive national applicant pool for their academic achievements, exemplary leadership abilities and commitment to pursuing careers in horticulture.
One of the recipients, Kristin Neill, stated the scholarship goes beyond simply providing funds that help pay tuition, but that it also “…gives me the encouragement of knowing that the leaders in our industry are recognizing the potential of students obtaining degrees in woody plant breeding.”
In addition to scholarships, the Spring Meadow-Proven Winners Endowment Fund has provided nearly $100,000 to support horticultural research that meets industry-approved standards for value, impact and accountability. The fund seeks to support research that has definable outcomes and represents a return on investment for the green industry.
Scholarship applications for the 2018-2019 school year will open in April and close Sept. 7. Individuals who are interested in applying for a scholarship can check the HRI website or contact Jennifer Gray, HRI administrator, at (614) 884-1155 for more scholarship application details.
Photos provided by Spring Meadow Nursery. From top: Kristin Neill, Madeline Olberg, Brandon Miller