The Landscape Olympics

Last week, I was in Ft. Collins, Colorado with a team of six students participating in the National Collegiate Landscape Competition.  It may surprise you that there’s actually a competition for students to practice around 30 different horticulture skills including hardscaping, bench building, and driving a skid steer.  I know it did me when I first heard of it years ago, and surprise is usually the reaction I get when I tell people outside of horticulture where we go.  

This opportunity is an incredible chance for students to really spread their roots into the green industry.  The competitions require undergrads to practice skills before they arrive, and the career fair challenges them to engage with industry leaders.  As a professor, it’s inspiring to see so many different companies present and willing to help students.  I believe that it’s one of the best events for students to attend.  

Oh, and I guess you want to know if we won anything!  Anna Claire won best student for the social media competition, I won the faculty social media award, and the school won the overall social media award.  In all it was $2000 cash, $500 in Permaloc edging, and $500 in Corona tools.  

Below are some pictures I took from the event.  If you aren’t familiar with the competition, check it out and consider helping a local team in your area!  Sam Hill Tree Care, Benchmark Landscapes, and Yellowstone Landscape supported our team and allowed us to do more at the competition.

 
Hardscape installation! Our team qualified for the first time this year. In this contest, students have 1 hour and 50 minutes to install a patio.

Hardscape installation! Our team qualified for the first time this year. In this contest, students have 1 hour and 50 minutes to install a patio.

There’s also arboriculture where students can show off their climbing skills.

There’s also arboriculture where students can show off their climbing skills.

The last contest of the event is landscape installation teams of three have two hours to install a planting to spec.

The last contest of the event is landscape installation teams of three have two hours to install a planting to spec.

And, here we are on stage winning the social media contest! If you want to see more pics from the competition, check out our    @sfahorticulture    Instagram page.

And, here we are on stage winning the social media contest! If you want to see more pics from the competition, check out our @sfahorticulture Instagram page.