2023 – Bergen Community College Walkway

The 2023 project entailed the creation of a seating area, planter beds and a wheelchair-accessible walkway to a gazebo opposite the BCC greenhouse and horticulture program entrance. There were two diseased trees that had to be removed and the entire area, upon completion of the hardscape, needed to be seeded with new grass. The design was created by Dr. Steve Fischer and his landscape class students and enhanced by NJLCA Service Project Committee Chairman Richard Andreu. The area will serve the entire college by providing an area to serve as an outdoor classroom, a place for students to gather and socialize as well as an area for their culinary program to hold outdoor entertainment. Further, it will provide students of the horticulture program with a place to learn, plant, and grow.

Adjacent to the area are gorgeous gardens, created by Dr. Fischer and his classes throughout the past four decades. There is a native plant garden, a perennial garden, secret pathways through the area and a variety of trees that Dr. Fischer uses to give his students hands-on lessons.

The project included 20 feet of seat wall, a 6-foot planter, and walkways to reach the gazebo. Donors of materials for the project included Cambridge Pavers, Downes Tree Service, Horizon Landscape Co, Mr. C Fence, SiteOne Landscape Supply, Victoria’s Nursery, Viola Brothers, as well as materials from the volunteer companies that provided the employees to help install the project. Volunteers included Al D. Landscaping and Tree Service, Exclusive Stoneworks, Green Meadows Landscaping, Kodiak Landscape & Design, Native Fields Landscaping, Yellow Wagon Landscaping and NJLCA staff.

A new and exciting addition to the service project this year was working in conjunction with the staff and students at Bergen Technical High School’s Environmental Design program. Students assisted with the first day of the project and were able to work alongside professionals in learning the “why’s and hows” of grading, drainage, paver cutting and more.  It is so exciting to see these young people, excited about the landscape and horticultural industry. It gives us such hope for the future of landscape and horticulture.

It is so rewarding to take part in these projects. It is so amazing to see so many people come together to create them. This industry, like none I have ever seen, is willing to put aside that they are competitors and work together for the greater good and to enhance their industry. Onsite at the projects, employees learn different techniques and ways of doing things from other employees, there is camaraderie, and everyone, although working hard, has a wonderful time.