By Loribeth Reynolds
The smell of spring is in the air on the HCC campus.
The Bradford Pear trees have burst open with blossoms that fill the air with a sweet scent.
Manny Hernandez, Las Vegas, Nevada, said spring in Kansas is unlike anything he’s ever experienced.
“I’ve never seen a white tree until I came to Kansas,” Hernandez said. “These trees smell amazing. I’m not sure what they smell like, but it smells like some kind of food.”
Growing up in Nevada, Hernandez had never witnessed such drastic seasonal changes.
“Winter is depressing in Kansas, and cold,” Hernandez said. “At least in Nevada, you can snowboard during winter, and it’s not as cold.”
Jacob Falder, Tescott, accompanied his friend Manny for an afternoon walk around campus.
He says spring brings wonderful fragrances, along with pleasant activities.
“It’s a nice break from winter,” Falder said.
“Winter is a depressing season. Now it smells like track season. It smells amazing.”
Tucked in with the blossoming trees are flowers and plants ready to show the world their beauty.
In addition to the hundreds of hours of work put in by HCC grounds crews, there are volunteers who also help keep the campus beautiful.
They are a part of the Master Gardeners Club.
Hazel Zink, Hutchinson, volunteers her time each week to tend the gardens by the campus pond.
“Gardening is a continual learning process,” Zink said. “We want to share it with people and encourage visitors.”
The Master Gardeners Club is a program of the K-State Extension office.
Most of the foliage the club plants on campus is donated; however, the club does have a budget and purchases some materials as well.
“Our funds mainly come from the Reno County Garden Tour put on in the summer,” Zink said.
As of right now the group is doing what Zink calls “spring cleaning,” and many of the flower beds will be tilled and planted at a later date.
“We plan to plant vegetables again in the raised gardens,” Zink said.
“If someone sees a ripe tomato on the vine, we want them to feel welcome to it.”