Pickens Tech ramps up horticulture program Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, March 20, 2023 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

 Pickens Tech ramps up horticulture program

For over 25 years, Pickens Technical College, Aurora, has trained people for landscape industry jobs by providing hands-on learning in various activities including learning about plant health, insect management, irrigation skills and more. 

About a year ago, when Colorado Green talked with Rachel Durkan, instructor at Pickens since 2021, she said she thinks this program as, “one of the gems of the Front Range for green industry career training” and wants to continue growing and improving the program, which she has done in the past year. 

Durkan says many current students in the program work in horticulture/landscape jobs outside the classroom and Durkan said that in December 2022 each student passed and received their Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM) certificate. 

“We are currently trying to build up our program and add to our current enrollment. Right now, we have students who range in age from 16 to 65, which is awesome,says Durkan. During the spring 2023 semester students are spending 10 Mondays working on projects, apprenticeships or internships with industry partners. “This is a new component to the program and I’m excited to see how it works out!  

According to Durkan, for the 2023/2024 school year, the name of the program will change to Environmental Horticulture. “We hope the name will attract more students who are interested in a variety of fields,” she says. “We will change out the arboriculture class to a plant health care class, and will do an arborist week. We think students who graduate with some plant health care knowledge will be more successful in the industry by better being able to help clients.”  

Stay tuned for more as the future of Pickens’ program continues to unfold. 

Full article available in the latest issue of Colorado Green Magazine.

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