Bucknell Students Build Planter Box at RiverWoods Senior Living Community

RiverWoods Senior Living Community has a new spring planter box, thanks to members of Bucknell University’s Management 101 class. The experiential course at Bucknell offers students an opportunity to fulfill a community service project by developing a business plan.

A group of about 20 students selected RiverWoods for their community service project. Their professor, Tammy Hiller, said the students chose RiverWoods because they felt strongly about assisting senior citizens who may be experiencing loneliness or don’t have regular visitations from family and friends. The students connected with Cookie Connolly, the Community Enrichment Director at RiverWoods, to determine what project would be useful to the residents.

It was decided that an outdoor planter box was needed, so the residents could enjoy planting flowers outdoors. The class determined they would sell ball caps on campus, to raise money for the supplies needed for the planter box at RiverWoods. They presented their ideas to the board of directors of the Management 101 course, made up of two professors, teaching assistants and the course coordinator. The students received a loan from the Management 101 fund to order and sell 250 hats.

With the proceeds from hat sales, the group purchased cedar planks to build the box. It was then filled with soil donated by Fogle’s Landscape Supply in Lewisburg. The residents at RiverWoods enjoyed working on filling the box with the students.

With additional revenue from hat sales, smaller planters were purchased and the students spent time painting the planters with the residents, and then filled them with plants. The rest of the money will be used to purchase flowers that residents can plant in the new outdoor planter box.

Hiller said, “On the days the students were actually doing the project with the residents, they were all smiles and worked very hard. They enjoyed themselves very much, enjoyed talking with the residents and were impressed with RiverWoods.” Hiller said it was also a great opportunity for students to get to know one another from a larger class with several different groups focusing on different aspects of the project.

Connolly said, “I wanted to have something for residents to enjoy outdoors this spring and summer so this is exciting.  The students designed and painted the box themselves, which was very impressive.  It was a great partnership and our residents enjoyed spending time with the students.”