Spartanburg Community College’s School of Horticulture and the SCC Foundation will
host the 2021 Arboretum Adventures event and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the
college’s Horticulture program on Thursday, September 23, in the Tracey Gaines Auditorium
on SCC’s Giles Campus in Spartanburg. Nationally-known horticulturist, Patrick Cullina,
is the featured speaker and Philanthropists Dr. Lawrence Roël and wife, Kathryn Hicks,
will be recognized for a special gift to the School of Horticulture. In addition,
the 50th anniversary of the horticulture program will be recognized.
Now in its 13th year, Arboretum Adventures is a much anticipated Upstate event featuring nationally renowned experts in horticulture, landscape design, public gardens and more. The event highlights SCC’s contribution to the horticulture industry across the Southeast and raises funds for the Jimmy Painter Horticulture Scholarship.
Event speaker, Patrick Cullina, is an award-winning horticulturist, landscape designer, photographer and lecturer best known for his work on the New York High Line, a 1.45-mile elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail that was created on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan in New York City.
“Patrick Cullina is a fitting guest presenter for our 13th Annual Arboretum Adventures during the 50th year of our program because his presentation, Lessons from the Garden, Roles for Collections in the Creation of Dynamic Landscapes, perfectly describes the synergy between our curriculum, our students, and the campus arboretum we operate within,” explains Dr. Kevin Parris, SCC’s Arboretum director. “Cullina’s experiences on the Rutgers University campus, interactions with the great plant breeder Dr. Elwin Orton, and his integral role in the development of the New York High Line will give us all a new dose of inspiration so we can better tackle new garden challenges, and adventures.”
Cullina is also an organizational consultant with more than 25 years of experience in the landscape field. He runs a design and consulting business dedicated to the innovative and sensitive integration of plants and materials into a diverse range of compelling designs, drawing inspiration from the both the natural world and constructed environments alike. Previously, he was the founding vice president of Horticulture and Park Operations for New York City's High Line; the vice president of Horticulture, Operations & Science Research at Brooklyn Botanic Garden; and associate director of The Rutgers University Gardens in affiliation with the school's Department of Landscape Architecture.
Parris adds, “We have hosted Arboretum Adventures each year since 2009 to raise awareness about the SCC Arboretum and the ways it facilitates learning in all courses within our program. Our plant collections give our program an identity and demonstrate a commitment to place and desire to continually build a better future. The funds raised at the event help us build and renovate gardens, take field trips, fund scholarships, and keep the wheels of inspiration turning.”
SCC’s horticulture program was established in 1971 by Jimmy Painter as a program focused primarily on peach production, but today, the program is a diverse program for the study of horticulture and agriculture.
“We have grown over the years from teaching primarily peach production to ornamental landscape and greenhouse operations to now having the Center for Sustainable Agriculture,” said Jason Bagwell, horticulture department chair. “Throughout our 50 years of teaching and learning, we have strived to teach with and expose students to new and current industry equipment and production techniques. Our Giles Campus Arboretum has grown to include numerous display gardens that provide the largest diversity of plants on a college campus in the Upstate and is an outdoor classroom for our students.”
Bagwell adds, “Through our program, we have helped to grow and sustain the horticulture industry, one of the largest industries in SC which has in turn has allowed us the opportunity to place our program graduates in a variety of horticulture positions all across the U.S. Our ability to grow and maintain a thriving hands-on program for 50 years has been a tremendous accomplishment thanks to so many people.”
SCC offers the only Associate Degree in Horticulture in the Upstate and provides a hands-on teaching, learning environment at one of five recognized arboretums in Spartanburg County. The program boasts four greenhouses, a nursery production area, several unique ornamental gardens such as the Plant Zoo Garden and International Peace Garden, an outdoor lab complex, and SCC’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture. For more information on the SCC School of Horticulture, visit www.sccsc.edu-Horticulture.
Arboretum Adventures begins with a reception and special presentation recognizing the Roël’s gift to the School of Horticulture at 5:30 p.m., followed by Cullina’s address. Tickets are $50 per person or $75 per couple. Sponsorships are available on the SCC Arboretum website or call the SCC Foundation at (864) 592-4448.
Photos are available for download via Flickr