The Schenectady and Schoharie County ARCs provide numerous programs and support for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. The Landis Arboretum is proud to assist them in their efforts.
Educating ARC’s individuals and instilling an appreciation of the outdoors has been one of Schoharie County ARC’s goals. It’s only natural that the ARC and the Arboretum began a cooperative venture in the 1990s, with individuals being transported to Landis to work in the gardens with our horticulturist and Landis gardeners. Not only did they learn about annuals, perennials, and garden maintenance, but they also experienced the wonders of nature in general, including spotting dragonflies, salamanders, snakes, and birds. This relationship has since expanded to include the day workshop center in Schoharie, where table centerpieces for our Garden Parties were created.
Donna Vincent, former Landis Board of Trustees member and owner of Plantscape, serves as Schenectady County ARC’s manager of greenhouses. Schenectady ARC is known for its horticultural program: individuals grow plants in the commercial greenhouses, and then market and sell them at the Schenectady Farmer’s Market. They also grow vegetables that are shared with participants in the program. This vocational program propagates plants for the Landis Arboretum’s spring and fall plant sales; the fall chrysanthemums are their signature donation. Individuals served by ARC grow the plants, deliver them, and set up their display. The group brings their lunches to eat on the picnic tables and then hikes the nature trails before returning to their center.
Both Schenectady and Schoharie County ARCs are deeply involved in the community, continually forming cooperative relationships with other not-for-profit organizations. The Landis Arboretum continues to proudly embrace the ARC’s commitment to all their programs, especially nature education.
According to Linda Isles, Director of Vocational Services, Schoharie County ARC’s strategies are now targeted to work experience opportunities with an ultimate goal of employment. One recently developed program relates to the operation of a retail outlet managed and maintained by ARC individuals. Customers are always welcome at ARC’s “New Beginnings”, located at 322 Main Street in Schoharie, where “gently used” clothing and many household items are for sale. Another program is based at Toe Path Industries, which provides a wide range of professional, manufacturing, and fulfillment services to an ever-expanding list of national and international business partners. The Toe Path Industries Redemption Center is a fully-operational bottle redemption facility located at the Schoharie County ARC Campus, on Route 30 between Middleburgh and Schoharie. The Redemption Center is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m – 4 p.m.