Sunday, March 23, 2014

PLANET Student Career Days at CSU

Posted by: Alison O'Connor

The Colorado State University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture just hosted the "horticulture Olympics" on the CSU campus during spring break. Over 60 schools, from all across North America, descended upon Fort Collins to compete in 28 events as part of PLANET. These events included: irrigation design and troubleshooting, plant and weed identification, tree climbing, landscape estimating, equipment driving, landscape installation, personnel management and many more. Simply put, it was pure and utter chaos for three days, and a lot of fun.

Brigham Young University-Provo took home first place, but our own CSU Rams placed 7th, and the 23 students who made up Team CSU are to be congratulated. The HLA faculty involved all deserve credit, especially Zach Johnson, who was acknowledged as the PLANET Educator of the Year. The dozens of volunteers, including many Master Gardeners, helped make this event a success.

The landscape installation event was the pinnacle of the competition, where each school had a set plan and three students install the design to scale in just under two hours. All teams had the same materials--shrubs, trees, mulch, groundcovers and sod. They were graded on time, accuracy, safety, neatness and aesthetics. See pictures below. Although it was snowy and very cold, the students' enthusiasm was heartwarming and it was fun to hear all the school fight songs.

Congratulations, CSU students!  We'll cheer you on in North Carolina next year.

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