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Landscape, Operate Greenhouses, and Manage a Horticultural Business

The Environmental Horticulture Program is designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in four specialty areas of this field: landscape, greenhouse, nursery, and urban farming.

Our program in Environmental Horticulture offers lots of exciting opportunities for students. We love introducing students to the fascinating world of urban horticulture and helping them build the skills they need for a lucrative career. We operate six greenhouses, where students have the chance to study tropical plants, nurseries, and much more. Our instructors also guide students in learning about materials, operations, and business practices in the landscape management industry. Your plan of study will include the following:

  • Landscape Design
  • Soil Science
  • Green Industry Equipment
  • Plant Health Care
  • Irrigation
  • Urban farming

Program Flyer Steps for Enrollment Pickens Lookbook See the Classroom

What Our Students Learn

  • Manage greenhouse production
  • Operate grounds maintenance equipment
  • Irrigate lawns, trees, and plants
  • Trim trees or other vegetation
  • Implement basics of landscape design
person watering plants

Career Outlook

  • Employment opportunity in this field is 4 times higher than the national average of a job
  • Entry level salaries start at $26,000 and up
  • Median salary is $35,000
  • 10% of workers earn $51,000 or more
woman looking at crops in field

Program Experience

  • Students spend 50% of their time learning concepts in a classroom, and 50% of their time in the greenhouses with hands-on practical work
  • Students gain experience in a simulated industry environment with industry-grade equipment
  • Student help run seasonal plant sales for the Aurora community
  • Enrollment options are available for both high school students and post-secondary students
  • 1 year of classes

Rachel Durkan

Instructor, Environmental Horticulture
303-344-4910 ext. 27764

With over 6 years in the industry, Rachel Durkan has spent time in public horticulture (Dallas Botanical Gardens, Denver Aquarium) and commercial landscaping. She has experience teaching after-school programs, served as a substitute teacher for Denver Public Schools, and has her Masters in Horticulture Education.

Industry Certifications & Degrees:

  • Masters is in Agriculture Education
  • Certified Horticulturist
  • Sustainable Landscape Management Certificate
  • Certified Irrigation Technician

Donna Nading

Instructor, Environmental Horticulture
303-344-4910 ext. 27764

A self-taught gardener, Donna has completed a Master Gardener Certification Program through Texas A&M. Since then, she’s worked in an environmental laboratory, striving to expand her knowledge about plants and how they grow. Donna taught the Horticulture program for 3 years specializing in Woody Plant ID and Arboriculture, and Interior Plants.

Industry Certifications & Degrees:

  • sustainable landscape management certification
  • certified greenhouse grower through the CNGA

Accredited Certificate Courses (27 Credits)

All credits earned at Pickens technical college are recognized by the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and are eligible for transfer to other colleges within the state of Colorado.

Introduces the biology of horticultural plants, and basic horticultural practices.

Introduces students to the basic concepts of maintenance, care, and repairing equipment associated with the Green Industry. This instruction is designed to cover the knowledge and skills required of employees and employers in many areas of the landscape occupations such as lawn maintenance industry, landscaping and nurseries.

Introduces students to the basics of graphic communications used in landscape design and construction. Students learn the proper use of graphic tools and materials to manually produce site analyses, concept plan, preliminary plan, planting plan, and master plan documents in both plan and perspective views.

Introduces students to relevant irrigation components and their use, installation and maintenance.

Discusses greenhouse design, systems, management, and the major greenhouse crops and their cultural needs. This class trains for industry certification.

Discusses plant growth and development as it relates to trees and shrubs, and progresses to methods of planting, tree protection, pruning, and tree care. This class trains for industry certification.

Discusses the formation, physical properties, chemical properties, and management of soils emphasizing conditions that affect plant growth. The principles of soil fertility and practice of fertilizer use is also discussed.

Teaches the principles of crop selection, site management, harvesting, and handling of vegetable and fruit crops in an intensive urban farm setting.

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