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OTA Students Participate in East Liverpool Beautification Project

Posted May. 14, 2012

Students of the Kent State University at East Liverpool Occupational Therapy Assistant  (OTA) program showed off their green thumbs for the third consecutive year when they again partnered with the Garden Club of East Liverpool. The students assisted in cleaning up the serpentine area off of Route 30 near Kent State East Liverpool. Students were able to really get their hands dirty by joining forces with the garden club to weed, mulch, trim and edge the green area next to the highway.

Through the project, students learned the importance of community involvement and commitment.  They had the opportunity to analyze the physical, psychological, social, and sensory involvement that gardening has to offer and they were able to realize how they can use gardening as a therapeutic intervention with occupational therapy services.  Jennifer Tokash, MOT, OTR/L adjunct faculty in the OTA program has been instrumental in organizing the partnership and maintaining it during the last three years. Tokash worked directly with the president of the garden club, Lisa Hutchison, to make the collaboration possible.

Hutchison appreciates the help from Kent State students each spring. "The annual spring cleanup of this area, along with its continued maintenance, is a big job,” Hutchison said.  “It’s really wonderful that the students help us each year, and learn the importance of community service."

Hutchison enjoys working alongside the Kent State students. "Working side by side with the students provides us the opportunity to accomplish some of our club’s objectives, such as sharing knowledge, stimulating a love of gardening, and promoting home, civic and roadside beautification,” Hutchison said. “It's so refreshing for us to work with these young people, who are so full of life, energy and promise."