Ohio Landscape Company Awards Scholarship

Rick Doesburg, CEO of Thornton Landscape in Maineville, OH, recently announced the recipient of the 10th Thornton Landscape/Doesburg Family Scholarship. Sue Nunamaker, a Cuyahoga Community College student, received the honor. She is currently working toward an associate’s degree in Plant Science Technology Landscape Design.

The national scholarship, established as part of the Professional Landcare Network Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF), is awarded to students with high character and leadership skills. It was established to help future leaders in the landscape industry receive their education in landscape contracting, landscape horticulture or landscape architecture, and to work in the design/build portion of the industry. The $2,000 scholarship, which is given every other year, is not based on financial need, but on educational excellence.  

Doesburg created the scholarship as a way of encouraging young horticulture enthusiasts to pursue a career in the design/build side of the landscaping industry. He also sees the scholarship as a way to give back to the industry he has been a part of for more than 40 years.

“Sue was the ideal recipient for our scholarship program. She is passionate about landscape design and her drive to succeed in the industry is clear,” Doesburg said. “We are looking forward to seeing her career progress after graduation and beyond.”

Nunamaker left her full-time job last year to devote all of her time to attending the Cuyahoga Community College’s Landscape Design program. She anticipates graduating next spring and hopes to pursue a career as a landscape designer.

“I love the creative aspect of designing and am excited about starting a rewarding career in the Green Industry,” Nunamaker explained. “To be able to work as a designer creating beautiful landscapes will be a dream come true.”

The scholarship will help pay for Nunamaker’s final year at Cuyahoga Community College, eliminating the financial stress associated with going back to school full-time and pursuing a new career.

“A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders,” Nunamaker said. “This scholarship will allow me to focus solely on my education and career plans next year.”

After meeting Doesburg in person at the PLANET AEF Scholarship Awards Banquet and talking to other attendees at the event, Nunamaker knew she was in good company.

“I was thrilled to meet Mr. Doesburg and thank him in person for recognizing my efforts and love for the industry,” Nunamaker said. “It was obvious after speaking to several others about Thornton Landscape that they are an incredible, well-respected organization in the industry.”

The Thornton Landscape/Doesburg Family scholarship was created from a $25,000 donation given by Rick and his wife, Peggy. With the donation entitled, the Doesburgs became Ambassadors in the PLANET Educational Foundation, which has a combined $2.5 million in donations from landscape professionals around the country.

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