2022 Scholarship Recipients
The Grantham Garden Club’s aim is to promote the love of gardening among amateurs through education; promote the study of horticulture; protect our native trees, wildflowers, and birds; encourage civic beautification; and engage in related charitable and educational activities by, for example, awarding grants or educational scholarships.
Our scholarships are aimed at students interested in post-secondary study of horticulture, landscaping, forestry, agriculture, and plant sciences. In addition, we also include scholarships for students studying environmental science topics related to plant life, topics such as conservation of local plant species, control of invasive plants, and soil conservation. Eligible students include those in their senior year in local high schools, as well graduates from local high schools who are already attending a post-secondary institution.
This year’s garden club Scholarship Chair, Leslie Keeling, announced the 2022 educational scholarships were awarded to two outstanding students, Maya Barnett and Christopher Brahan. Maya and Christopher have expressed their gratitude to the Grantham Garden Club for scholarships that will help them pursue post-secondary education.
Maya R. Barnett
Maya graduated from Lebanon High School as part of the class of 2022 and is looking forward to attending the University of Vermont as a Botany major. In addition to her passion for plants, gardening, and preserving the natural world, Maya enjoys bird watching and baking.
Maya says she discovered her passion for plants through working at local gardening and landscaping businesses, as well as by landscaping independently for local homeowners. In fact, though, Maya’s passion probably began as a little girl when she filled her bedroom with plants, especially those that needed rehabilitation. She grew up in a family that has a large vegetable garden grown from seeds, along with many flower gardens. Maya and her siblings each maintain their own flower garden, and they all pitch in with planting, weeding, harvesting, preserving, and putting the vegetable garden to bed at the end of each season. Maya knows this family tradition of getting her hands dirty has helped develop her love for gardening and landscaping.
Maya also widened her knowledge while working at a local garden center; learning how to plant seedlings and transplant plugs with care; and honing her understanding of what each vegetable, annual, and perennial plant needs for its optimal survival—including watering, organic fertilizing, and deadheading. In addition, she gained experience working with customers by helping them find and learn to care for plants that fit their needs.
Maya says that while working at the garden center she continued to struggle with letting go of plants which were in very poor condition and otherwise destined to become compost. This led to her becoming known as the caretaker for ''plants of woe", leading her family to see a nearly daily increase of annuals, perennials, shrubs, and even trees in her room, garden, and patio.
Christopher T. Brahan
This is the second year in a row the garden club has awarded a scholarship to Christopher. He is entering his second year at the University of Maine, where he is majoring in Environmental Science and Ecology. He kept himself extremely busy during his first year through participation in the American Fisheries Science Club, the Maine Outing Club, the Climbing Club, the Fly-Fishing Club, and the mapping of drainage ditches using ArcGIS mapping and analytics software. In addition, he obtained his climbing wall instructor certification, and taught Nordic Skiing to those new to the sport—all while taking a full load of courses and making the Dean’s List.
Christopher explained the reason for mapping the drainage ditches of the east-coast salt marshes was so that field scientists from the University of Maine could locate the ditches over the summer and monitor how they affect the rapidly diminishing saltmarsh sparrow populations.
One particularly interesting class he mentioned was an introduction to fisheries science, where he learned about saltwater ecosystem dynamics, population modeling, and how the resources provided by the ocean are managed sustainably. Next year he will be taking classes on marine ecology, freshwater lakes, and the ecotourism industry in the NH White Mountains.
His summer appears to be equally full working multiple jobs and volunteering with the NH Fish and Game Department, monitoring some small trout streams in this area to help collect data on our local trout population.
Christopher said his career plans still align with the environmental science field he has fallen in love with, and he still plans to work with the state and federal governments on the prevention and management of invasive freshwater species in the New Hampshire and Maine area.
Congratulations Maya and Christopher!