While my friend and colleague Dan Stearns shed his struggle with cancer previous month, his legacy and memory are living on in the life of his loved ones, mates and many college students that he mentored and assisted around the a long time. In numerous strategies Dan was a Renaissance gentleman — an excellent landscape architect, award-profitable trainer, previous administrator in U.S. Forest Support, musician, enthusiastic bicycle owner and a prosperous organization operator. I bear in mind Dan as a real skilled, great gentleman, with a serious passion for biking and the outdoors and for his warm smile and helpful demeanor.
Dan and I have been equally retired and professor emeritus of the plant science section. Through his vocation at Penn State starting in 1989 he labored on building a productive and well-highly regarded Landscape Contracting software in the section. Remaining a really available professor, students achieved out to him for his assistance in the course of their time in the plan and very long after they graduated. Dan and I each shared a passion for teaching students and Dan summed up his philosophy: “Teaching is a partnership, and the role of the trainer is to assistance the students investigate and teach them to learn, to get them fired up about discovering.”
Craig Weidemann, one more friend of Dan’s, wrote to me that he remembered Dan usually went the added mile in his educating and mentoring his landscaping pupils. The Condition College indigenous also deeply cherished mother nature and doing work outdoors close to his dwelling and farm.
As you stroll all over the Penn Condition campus and the Point out Higher education neighborhood you might not be aware the different assignments (usually two a yr) that Dan and his college students undertook to enable beautify and enhance both the campus and community. These tasks enabled the pupils to understand the entire system of Landscape Contracting from the style, products accessible to the implementation. I constantly appreciated going up on the third flooring (residence of the Landscape Contracting Program) and observing the pupils working on the patterns and then viewing them implementing them close to campus less than the watchful eye of Dan and his colleague Martin McGann or Mike Mahoney.
One particular challenge that I specifically liked watching develop was the university student backyard garden found guiding the Horticulture Greenhouse sophisticated throughout the street from the Agricultural Administration building. Since Elsa Sanchez and I experienced started off a extremely well-liked Gardening for Pleasurable and Gain study course we definitely ended up enthusiastic when Dan said they ended up going tear out the aged, modest Quonset-shaped greenhouses and put in lifted backyard garden beds that we could use for the class. Dan and the pupils did a excellent task and the elevated backyard garden beds have been built from substantial Northern white cedar lumber, which is quite long lasting and appealing. The beds and the fence all-around the garden are all part of Dan’s and the student’s legacy. Our pupils extensively appreciated planting vegetables and modest fruits in the beds. Scott Diloreto, greenhouse manager, seconded what a excellent addition the yard has been to the horticulture facility and our plans.
Tommy Wareham, a great musician in his individual ideal who grew up with Dan in State College or university, pointed out to me when we have been both experiencing breakfast at the counter at the North Atherton Waffle Store that Dan was a lifelong and gifted musician who performed a variety of devices. As I stated in advance of — Dan Stearns was in fact a Renaissance male.
So, when you walk all-around the Penn State campus or are out and about in the local community you could perspective some of the buildings and backyard layouts Dan was concerned with — the gardens/plantings about the Tyson Horticulture Constructing, Old Key, Carnegie Building and Eisenhower Auditorium. Or you may see the pond, backyard garden and walkways about the Hintz Spouse and children Alumni Centre, or stop by the Dwelling of Care on Beaver Avenue wherever a new paver patio and stroll, custom made-built gazebo, screen fence, new plantings, and set up of a new handicap ramp from the property ended up put in. Or you could cease by the Youth Services Bureau where by a total landscape restoration, which include demolition of existing garage, paved patio and walks, set up of a split rail fence, new plantings, new retaining wall, and construction of a trash enclosure have been finished. Or if you are climbing up Mount Nittany in which the design of a wood bridge assisted people today climbing the trail to the major, choose time imagine of Dan and his legacy of teaching pupils and generating the campus and neighborhood a superior position.
Bill Lamont is a professor emeritus in the division of plant science at Penn Condition and can be attained by electronic mail: [email protected]