2015-16 Projects

Planting nut bearing trees at South Sioux City Orchard

At the conclusion of the December Leadership Dakota County session, our group (Roger Heck, Corrinna Lenort, Jamie Modicue, and Alyssa Silhacek) was formed. Roger Heck was selected as the group leader. In reviewing possible project ideas with Kelly Flynn, group advisor, the group opted to plant fruit bearing bushes at the City’s orchard as a possible project.

On May 14, 2016, the group met with Gene Maffit (City of South Sioux City), Carol Larvick (UNL Extension Office), a master gardener, and high school student volunteers to complete the project. Group members assisted with the planting of nut bearing trees instead of fruit bearing bushes due to weather delays orchard organizers were experiencing. Overall, more than fifty nut bearing trees of varying types were planted. Group members were instructed how to plant the trees so that we might then teach the student volunteers how to plant them.

This project complements the existing orchard, a previous Leadership Dakota County project, and will provide long-term benefits to Dakota County. The nut bearing trees will serve as a useful educational tool. The project will also help to further beautify and improve the appearance of Memorial Park. Lastly, our project will also encourage future opportunities for community partnerships and collaboration as the area will be maintained by local master gardeners and volunteers.

Several leadership skills were needed to carry out the project. To ensure that the project was completed, our group members needed to divide tasks when necessary. We were also able to collaborate with local leaders and organizations that are invested in the orchard and its sustainability. This required us to lead by doing and to focus on working alongside a larger group to serve our community.

From this project, our group members feel we have made a positive impact on our community. As trees were planted, orchard organizers recorded the individuals planting trees, and we will be able to see the trees grow over time as we visit and volunteer at the orchard. The trees will continue to grow and provide for our community members for years to come.