GWINNETT – Gwinnett Technical College’s Horticulture Department recently partnered with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR) to install an irrigation system for the Chapel at Simpsonwood Park.
The Simpsonwood property was acquired in 2014, with one of its key features being the Chapel and grounds. Attractive landscaping was installed to enhance the curb appeal for its renters, but the grounds presented a challenge to keep the plants moist during dry periods.
As a cost-effective method to address the challenges GCPR staff faced with the grounds of the Chapel, a partnership was formed with Gwinnett Tech’s Horticulture program to allow students to work on a hands-on project to design and install an irrigation system. GCPR supplied materials and the preparatory labor to include utility locates and trench work. The project was completed on time and within budget as a result of the partnership. The project yielded 42 volunteer hours by the students, and a savings of $5,250 in labor to the County.
- Aaron Poulson, Gwinnett Tech's Environmental & Horticulture Program Director says, "This was great experiential learning for our students. Giving them the opportunity to help plan out and execute a project in a real-world setting that directly benefits our community was very rewarding. They got to work side-by-side with professionals that helped them problem-solve and develop an effective irrigation system that provided a great solution for the County."
Gwinnett Tech's Horticulture program offers plenty of hands-on learning as students have the opportunity to learn while working in a full-scale garden, greenhouse and hydroponics labs. The students also grow and cultivate plants from their gardens and offer the community a farmer's market and seasonal plant sales.
- Students come into the horticulture program from all walks of life. Some are simply exploring various career paths and just want to learn more about this growing field, while others are working in the industry and want to expand their knowledge and expertise.
Poulson shares, "The horticulture and environmental sciences field is booming and there's high demand for students with skilled training in these areas. Our students learn the latest in green technologies, practices and sustainability techniques. We are deeply committed to their learning, their career development and life-long success."
The program offers degrees and diplomas in Environmental Horticulture, as well a certificates in GIS technology, landscape installation, landscape design, floral design, and sustainable urban agriculture. As many interested in this field often seek to start their own companies, students often pair their studies with small businesses courses via the College's Continuing Education Department.
Top jobs in this field include arborist, golf course superintendent, floral designer, landscape designer/contractor/manager, greenhouse or garden center manager, greens/groundskeeper, nursery worker, landscape architect assistant and much more. To learn more about Gwinnett Tech’s exciting horticulture program, visit http://www.gwinnetttech.edu/programs/horticulture/ or call 770-962-7580.
May 16, 2017