Delaware Center for Horticulture Appoints New Executive Director

(Wilmington, DE) – The Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH), a local non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community through the power of plants, announced the appointment of Joanne McGeoch as Executive Director.  

 

Joanne has more than two decades of non-profit leadership experience, most recently as Vice President for Philanthropy at Delaware Community Foundation and Interim Executive Director at the Delaware Nature Society. Having previously served in leadership positions within the environmental and horticultural sectors and most importantly, in Delaware, she will advance the mission and values of the Delaware Center for Horticulture and guide the next chapter of growth and impact.  

 

“The multifaceted career path and executive expertise Joanne brings to DCH will undoubtedly expand our programmatic scope and community engagement within Wilmington and throughout the First State, “ said Carrie Wiles, Interim Executive Director. “Our future is bright, and I look forward to seeing the next chapter in DCH’s community partnerships expand and develop.” 

 

Joanne’s commitment to sustainable landscapes and promoting community engagement through connection to nature aligns seamlessly with DCH’s mission to inspire appreciation and improvement of the environment through horticulture. In her new role, Joanne will oversee DCH’s operations, strategic planning, program development, fundraising, and community outreach. She will work closely with the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and stakeholders to build upon DCH’s foundation of connecting communities with the power of plants. 

 

“DCH combines my deep experience and passion for connecting people to the natural world, and building more sustainable, resilient communities,” said Joanne McGeoch, Executive Director. The organization is at an exciting inflection point in its more than 40-year history, and the mission is so relevant to the need for nature-based systems that build resiliency, support biodiversity, and improve the environment. I am honored to be joining the organization, and look forward to working with our staff, board, volunteers and partners to cultivate greener neighborhoods that are healthier, beautiful, and ecologically sustainable.” 

 

Media and industry professionals interested in learning more about Joanne McGeoch or scheduling an interview are encouraged to contact Caitlyn Ridgley at cridgley@thedch.org. 

 

About Delaware Center for Horticulture 

Since 1977, the Delaware Center for Horticulture has inspired individuals and communities through the power of plants. Its work includes creating and maintaining the first Urban Farm in the city of Wilmington, establishing the Branches to Chances® Return to Work Program, beautifying public landscapes, planting, and advising on the urban placement of trees, and hosting educational programs and community events. For more information, visit www.thedch.org. 

 

DCH Receives Bank of America Neighborhood Builder Award

Wilmington, DE – Bank of America today announced Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH) and Delaware Technical Community College Educational Foundation as the 2023 Neighborhood Builders® awardees for their work advancing economic mobility and building up underserved neighborhoods in Delaware. Through this multi-year grant funding and extensive leadership training for the nonprofits’ leadership, programs and services addressing secondary education, job readiness and workforce development will be able to expand to meet the community’s needs.

The Neighborhood Builders program is one of the largest philanthropic investments into nonprofit leadership development in the nation, providing comprehensive leadership training for an executive director and an emerging leader on topics ranging from increasing financial sustainability, human capital management and strategic storytelling, and the opportunity to join a national network of peer organizations. Each Builder is also awarded a $200,000 grant over two years.

 

“Delaware Center for Horticulture and Delaware Technical Community College Education Foundation are working to solve diverse social and economic challenges through each of their unique focuses: horticulture and job readiness,” said Chip Rossi, president, Bank of America Delaware. “It is essential to provide these nonprofits with flexible funding and leadership training to position them for sustainable, long-term growth so they can continue to uplift the Delaware communities they serve through expanded educational and workforce development opportunities.”

 

Delaware Center for Horticulture cultivates greener communities through horticulture education, planning and maintaining Delaware’s urban forests, improving public health through the power of plants and increasing access to locally-grown produce. DCH uses urban agriculture as a tool to engage and inspire communities, offering several educational and workforce training programs to increase community involvement. This new grant funding will help DCH expand the Branches to Chances® workforce training and placement program for unemployed, underemployed and/or formerly incarcerated individuals, allowing graduates to continue their training and employment with the Delaware River Climate Corps. It will also support DCH’s community forestry program outreach and engagement efforts while providing employee benefits to trainees to ensure their well-being.

“The global pandemic further emphasized the need for accessible, stable employment among all members of the DCH community,” said Vikram Krishnamurthy, executive director, Delaware Center for Horticulture. “This funding will have a significant impact by helping to increase meaningful employment opportunities in horticulture for our Branches to Chances® program graduates and to provide our leadership with stability and essential succession planning skills.”

 

The Delaware Technical Community College Educational Foundation raises funds for Delaware Technical Community College (Delaware Tech) students to ensure an accessible education for all who wish to attend the college. This new grant funding will help Delaware Tech establish the Accelerated Patient Care Technician/Nursing Program for high school students attending William Penn High School in New Castle, DE. The program will allow fifteen students in their junior and senior years to earn industry-recognized credentials and complete three college credit courses for free, kickstarting their pathway to an associate degree in Nursing while in high school. Delaware Tech will also use the grant funds to purchase laptops and textbooks for participating students.

 

“As Delaware’s only community college, we recognize the importance of having programs in place that address both the needs and goals of our students, community and state,” said Dr. Mark T. Brainard, president, Delaware Technical Community College. “This support furthers our partnership with Bank of America and will help develop our staff to shape curriculum and inform educational offerings at the college. In addition, this will help students gain access to a quality education and assist students from underserved communities who are seeking a position in the health sector early in their academic careers.”

 

The invitation-only program is highly competitive. Nonprofits are selected by a committee comprised of community leaders and past Builders awardees. In Delaware, 29 nonprofits have been selected as Neighborhood Builders since 2006, with the bank investing more than $5.4 million into these local organizations.

 

Since 2004, Bank of America has invested more than $300 million in nearly 100 communities across the U.S., partnered with more than 1,600 nonprofits, and helped more than 3,000 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills through the Neighborhood Builders and Champions program.

 

Bank of America

 

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 69 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000 ATMs (automated teller machines) and award-winning digital banking with approximately 57 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BAC).

DCH receives grant from Bank of America

Wilmington, DE, September 15, 2023 – Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH), a local non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community through the power of plants, has received a $25,000 grant from Bank of America. The grant will help to support the organization’s Branches to Chances® horticultural job skills training and placement program, and the continuation of education and employment for participants through the support of the Delaware River Climate Corps.

The Branches to Chances® program provides classroom and hands-on training in the horticulture and landscape industry by preparing individuals for entry-level positions through training on plant identification, basic botany, equipment use, and landscape maintenance techniques. Additional training is offered including financial and computer literacy, job interview preparation, and personal wellness. Upon completion of this program, participants are placed with industry partners for externships and provided the opportunity for potential full-time employment.

One potential for employment includes joining DCH’s Delaware River Climate Corps (DRCC). Launched in 2022, the DRCC is an initiative to advance climate resiliency and strengthen green career pathways in the Delaware River Watershed. Through support from the William Penn Foundation and leadership from The Corps Network, the DRCC expands upon the Branches to Chances® training to include training in land stewardship, climate resiliency, green infrastructure (rain gardens, green roofs), watershed and ecosystem protection, plant propagation, and food production/access.  

“This support of the Branches to Chances® program and the Delaware River Climate Corps will directly impact the lives of our participants by allowing us to provide employment well above minimum wage and to extend the work season to span the winter months,” said Vikram Krishnamurthy, Executive Director of DCH. “We appreciate Bank of America’s generous award and continued support of our crucial, life changing programs.”

 

The grant is part of Bank of America’s philanthropic giving efforts in local communities. Awardees were selected for their commitment to addressing basic needs and workforce development for individuals and families.

“DCH is creating stronger and more vibrant communities through the power of horticulture, education, and conservation,” said Chip Rossi, President of Bank of America Delaware. “We continue to support their vital mission and the role they play in connecting people to meaningful and well-paying work.”  

In addition to the Branches to Chances® program and the Delaware River Climate Corps, the Delaware Center for Horticulture provides a variety of programs on horticulture, tree planting and care, community gardening, and public greening. The facility is located in Wilmington’s Trolley Square neighborhood and is available to rent for events; the gardens are free and open to the public year-round.  

 

The Delaware Center for Horticulture  

Since 1977, the Delaware Center for Horticulture has inspired individuals and communities through the power of plants. Its work includes creating and maintaining the first Urban Farm in the city of Wilmington, establishing the Branches to Chances® Return to Work Program, beautifying public landscapes, planting and advising on the urban placement of trees, and hosting educational programs and community events. For more information, visit www.thedch.org.  

 

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 68 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000 ATMs and award-winning digital banking with approximately 57 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Celebrating the 2023 Graduates of Branches to Chances®

(Wilmington, DE) – The Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH), a local non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community through the power of plants, celebrated the graduation of seven Branches to Chances® participants on Thursday April 27, 2023. The ceremony began with an overview of the Branches to Chances® program, followed by opening remarks from County Executive Matt Meyer, New Castle County Government on the successful program. Inspirational keynote speaker, Saad Soliman, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Criminal Justice at Patient Sortal addressed the gathering and the ceremony then concluded with reflections from each Branches to Chances® participant about their experience throughout the program and the presentation of program certificates.  

Branches to Chances 2023 Graduation

Pictured: 2023 Branches to Chances® graduates at the Delaware Center for Horticulture joined by County Executive Matt Meyer, New Castle County Government, Vikram Krishnamurthy, Executive Director, DCH, Sarah Bett, Bonnie Swan, Robert Harris, and Saad Soliman, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Criminal Justice at Patient Sortal.

 

“We’re honored to work with each of the 2023 participants and watch their growth throughout the course,” said Sarah Bett, DCH Education Manager. “This program is an important step for individuals looking to return to the workforce and pursue a career in the horticulture industry. With a balance of classroom, hands-on lessons, and field trips, the Branches to Chances® program provides an engaging learning environment to explore topics ranging from the basics of plant anatomy to landscaping techniques that have an environmental impact.” 

 

Branches to Chances® is a 9-week program designed to introduce participants to the horticulture industry through horticultural and life skills training. The program combines classroom based sessions, hands-on skills development, field trips, and character-building experiences supervised by industry experts. The curriculum covers botany, horticulture, plant culture and maintenance, water management, equipment use, and safety. Classroom learning is further reinforced by working within the DCH public landscapes, gardens, and grounds to experience how to identify plants, install plants, mulch, weed, water, and prune.   

 

In addition to education in horticulture, Branches to Chances® provides work-life skill training in financial and computer literacy, preparing for a job interview, developing workplace skills, and exploring topics about personal wellness. Trainees also participate in a week-long externship with an industry partner to gain additional experience and exposure to job opportunities within the landscape industry. The Branches to Chances® workforce development program has been successful in connecting participants with entry-level positions in the horticultural industry. Job placement includes positions in landscaping, tree maintenance, and park maintenance, as well as the retention of graduates to continue their workforce development training caring for DCH’s public landscapes and gardens.  

 

This Spring’s Branches to Chances program also serves as applicable training for the 2023 Delaware River Climate Corps (DRCC) initiative. The DRCC is led and supported by the William Penn Foundation and The Corps Network to enhance climate resiliency and strengthen green career pathways through expanding Corps programming within the Delaware River Watershed. 

 

Recruitment for the 2024 Branches to Chances® Class will begin in December 2023. Please contact Bonnie Swan (bswan@thedch.org) and Robert Harris (rharris@thedch.org) for more information.  

 

The Branches to Chances® program is supported by a variety of partners including ABHA Architects, Acme Store #808, Bancroft Construction, Bank of America, Capital One, City of Wilmington, The Corps Network/The William Penn Foundation, Corteva Agriscience, Delaware Criminal Justice Council, Delaware State Parks/Brandywine Zoo, Discover, Harry’s Hospitality Group/Kid Shelleen’s, Jewish Family Services, Kentmere Rehabilitation and Healthcare, The Laffey McHugh Foundation, New Castle County, Pettinaro Management, LLC, Williams Houck & Co., LLC, Wilmington Trust, T.D. Bank, The WSFS CARES Foundation, and individual donors. 

 

 

 

About Delaware Center for Horticulture 

Since 1977, the Delaware Center for Horticulture has inspired individuals and communities through the power of plants. Its work includes creating and maintaining the first Urban Farm in the city of Wilmington, establishing the Branches to Chances® Return to Work Program, beautifying public landscapes, planting and advising on the urban placement of trees, and hosting educational programs and community events. For more information, visit www.thedch.org. 

 

Planting Trees for Earth Day and Arbor Day

Planting Trees for Earth Day and Arbor Day

Delaware Center for Horticulture Plants Over 60 Trees to Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day

(Wilmington, DE) – The Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH), a local non-profit organization
dedicated to improving the community through the power of plants, has planned 6 events in
honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day. These events range from private corporate tree plantings to
educational tree demonstrations with grade school children. The events were planned to honor
the ecological holidays by providing more tree canopy to underserved communities and
building excitement for community forestry in the area.

“Community forestry has a way of bringing people together and reminding them of simple ways
to give back to the community and the environment,” said Heather Titanich, DCH Community
Forester. “Last fall, we were overjoyed with the community engagement and support of our work in
expanding tree canopy through park plantings as well as in personal yards and gardens, so we
expect to see even more excitement for trees this spring.”

The spring events began with a low-cost tree sale and will continue throughout the months of
April and May.

The Delaware Center for Horticulture Receives Grant from  Delmarva Power through the Delaware Nature Society

The Delaware Center for Horticulture Receives Grant from Delmarva Power through the Delaware Nature Society

Wilmington, DE – The Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH), a local non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community through the power of plants, received a $10,000 grant from Delmarva Power through the Delaware Nature Society. The 2022 Delmarva Sustainable Communities Program grants are awarded to municipalities, recreational authorities and nonprofits for projects focusing on open space preservation, improvements to parks and recreation resources, and environmental conservation. This grant in the Environmental Conservation Category was awarded to DCH to support work in public landscapes in Wilmington and the installation of pollinator-friendly gardens. Awards were presented during the Delmarva Sustainable Communities grants press event on Wednesday, November 16, at the DuPont Environmental Education Center.

“The mission of Delaware Nature Society is to connect people with nature and to improve the environment for everyone,” said Jen Adkins, executive director, DelNature. “We are pleased to support Delmarva Power by connecting them with sustainable projects that help protect habitats, promote pollinators, beautify our built environment, reduce water pollution and support use of renewable energy. These projects and others like them will transform our region.”

The Delaware Center for Horticulture received this award to fund the 2022-2023 program, Connecting Ecology and Community, where DCH landscape team members and participants from DCH’s employment training program, Branches to Chances®, work to strengthen the connectivity and function of greenspaces to improve the urban environment. The program targets areas and individuals who experience environmental inequity and injustice and delivers greening and services that alleviate those problems. In addition to a more beautiful, safer, and healthier environment, the program reduces unemployment, increases civic pride and self-autonomy, and builds stronger social networks.

DCH currently manages 23 public landscapes in 10 different neighborhoods within the Delaware River Watershed, which are key to the Connecting Ecology and Community project. Combined, these sites host 187 unique plant species that will capture hundreds of metric tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a significant heat-trapping greenhouse gas, over the next decade.

“The ability to manage our public landscape sites and improve spaces with native plants that benefit pollinators is made possible by our supporters. This generous grant will allow us to continue our work into 2023 and make more spaces in Wilmington greener,” says Executive Director of the DCH, Vikram Krishnamurthy. “DCH’s public landscapes program works in tandem with our Branches to Chances® employment training program to help create healthier environments, provide more employment options, and build a stronger community in Wilmington. These programs are a true demonstration of the power of nature-based solutions for ecological, economic, and social challenges. We appreciate Delmarva Power and the Delaware Nature Society’s recognition of our work in the local community, and their continued support of the Delaware Center for Horticulture through this award.”

In addition to maintaining public landscapes, the DCH provides a variety of programs on horticulture, tree planting and care, community gardening and public greening. The DCH facility in Wilmington’s Trolley Square neighborhood hosts events, rentals, and the DCH gardens are free and open to the public year-round.

Verified by MonsterInsights