ARC: Our Partner Through the Years

By Gail Browning

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.

An ARC client har­vests a pep­per from an ARC acces­si­ble raised bed garden.

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.

Healthy greens grow­ing in ARC gardens.

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. 

The healthy greens stretch on and on in ARC gardens.

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.

Fall 2015

Volume 33 , Number 4

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