Each year, students in the horticulture and landscaping program at Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology participate in a project that is bigger than themselves – it’s one that gives back to the people who give the rest of the community so much more in return.
And this year, students from Bellefonte Area High School were part of it. They are: freshmen Nate Lambert, Donato Mazzotto and Jonathan Ross; sophomore Harley Benner, Mackenzie Hockenberry and Rheya Lott; junior Mason Ault; and senior Brian Hill.
It’s called the HeroScaping project, sponsored by the New Jersey-based paving company EP Henry that donates products to help build and restore memorials, monuments and residential products for veterans, members of the military and more.
Last year, the CPI class created a veteran’s memorial at the American Legion Smith-Pletcher Post 779 in Centre Hall; the year before the students created a memorial in memory of Foster Joseph Sayers at an area near the dam at Bald Eagle Creek in Liberty Township; and in 2016, a landscape and hardscape area was built at the home of Army veteran Vince Reynolds who lives in Lemont.
This year, the group is constructing a memorial to recognize all first responders and law enforcement officials in Centre County. It can be found at the newly-built Centre County Public Safety Training Center on CPI’s campus in Spring Township.
“This year the project is a little challenging, but it’s going to be worth it,” said Lott, who was also involved in last year’s project. “I think the community is going to like it.”
The project, which started in Mid-September, is expected to be complete in time for a formal dedication ceremony Oct. 9. It includes a hardscape that depicts the pentagon and World Trade Center along with a sitting wall, flag poles and plaques. It’s a design created by Penns Valley senior Brittany Royer.