December 13, 2013 // 1:50 PM

Garden Spot Villagers Team Up for Fun

Written by Scott Miller

A decade or so ago, when some residents wanted to dig in the dirt, Campus Services made it happen. Today, Campus Services and the Farmers Club continue to collaborate to make vegetable gardening possible at Garden Spot Village. Outdoors and in, team members works closely with residents and other departments to make Garden Spot Village the perfect place to live.

A Growing Project

“At Garden Spot Village, we were blessed with land,” says Scott Weaver, director of Campus Services. “Residents were interested in vegetable gardens, and it was easy to set some land aside. The first plots were side by side in a 20-by-100-foot linear garden along the street. As building phases progressed, the vegetable plots were moved to their current location adjacent to the Legacy Garden. Approximately 40 members each care for a 10-by-10 or 10-by-20-foot plot. Campus services takes care of seasonal maintenance, like adding leaf compost and chisel plowing in the winter, then chisel plowing again and rototilling in early spring.

“That’s one of the advantages of having a garden at Garden Spot Village. Scott does an excellent job of preparing the plots,” says Frank Kuserk, of the farm club. “You can come right out and start planting. You don’t have to break up the soil.”
Campus Services also set aside The Gardeners Room, a storage area in the pavilion with tool racks on the walls and baskets where farm club members can keep their supplies.

The group meets monthly from April through September to exchange ideas and information. Weaver is available to answer questions, although the group has many lifelong gardeners, including some members who farmed for a living.

Sprouting New Ideas

The Farmers Club is just one example of how teamwork creates opportunities at Garden Spot Village. When a resident group of radio-controlled airplane enthusiasts needed space to indulge their passion for flight, Campus Services carved out an airstrip near the Center for Health at the main entrance. They maintain putting greens and installed bocce and pickleball courts.

Garden Spot Village has held “workshop groups that were idea mills,” Weaver says. “Staff and residents would meet and throw out ideas and then talk about feasibility.”

Bocce and pickleball courts were a result of this idea process. So was the Memorial Garden.

“Campus Services is set up like an in-house landscaping business. If an idea comes up that we want to pursue, we can take care of it,” says Weaver.

An Inside Job

Inside the building, Facilities Services is instrumental in establishing and maintaining areas such as the train room, the crafts room and similar spaces.

“In the craft room we put in cabinets and special lighting. The room has no exterior light sources, so we put in natural lighting that simulates daylight so the crafters can see better,” says Robert Hochstaetter, director of Facilities Services.

Hochstaetter’s department works closely with members of the woodshop, often to address requests from other internal departments or individuals. When Dining Services needed something to hold coffee carafes at the Marathon, Facilities services fielded the request and woodshop members obliged. When a team member needed shepherds’ staffs for a Sunday school Christmas pageant, a woodshop member volunteered to make them. The woodshop recently made cubbies for the New Holland Police Department to stow their tactical gear.

“That project benefits the entire community,” says Hochstaetter.

Whether they are setting up tables and chairs for an event or replacing a light fixture, at some point or another, Facilities Services interacts with every department and every resident. They even serve as eyes and ears for Social Services if someone seems to need extra help.

“We deal primarily with things; however, they are all somehow related to essential services that affect people,” Hochstaetter says.

The Campus Services and Facilities Services teams embody the cooperative, can-do spirit that makes Garden Spot Village the perfect place to plant tomatoes, play with trains and airplanes, work with wood or crafts or pursue other passions in the company of friends.

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