For the students at Falcon High School in Colorado Springs, learning the ins and outs of landscaping and irrigation starts in the classroom. For the past several years, Timberline and the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) have worked with David Kranz, agriculture teacher from Falcon High School, to help formulate the Intro to Landscape and Irrigation course curriculum.
In addition to launching the course, Timberline has also launched six internships to support the program and give the students real-world experiences.
About the Program
The purpose of the Intro to Landscape and Irrigation course curriculum is for students to learn landscape and design skills in the classroom, and then provide the students with real-world experience via internships. David Kranz, the Career and Tech Ed (CTE) instructor who helped launch the initiative along with the ALCC and Timberline at Falcon High School, saw the value in the program from the start.
“I try to run a traditional agricultural program in a non-traditional setting,” Kranz said. “A lot of landscaping needs to be done in our area due to HOA rules, which is a great learning opportunity for the students, and the ALCC referred me to Timberline for the course.”
Through the course, students worked alongside industry volunteers on landscaping projects such as installing irrigation system stations, large gardens, stations to practice hardscaping, and more.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Kranz. “I can’t say enough about how great Timberline is and how helpful they were to me and my students. I could not have done it without Timberline.”
After the Course
For the landscape curriculum students at Falcon High School, the learning doesn’t stop once they leave the classroom. An internship program is also in place to ensure that the students gain real-world experience and have a better chance to get a job in the industry once they graduate.
Additionally, they receive resume and interview training, so their professional skills are just as sharp as their landscape and irrigation skills.
“Students will be doing internships through Timberline, and they will even learn resume, cover letter, and interview skills along with landscaping skills, and they will hopefully move into full-time jobs,” Kranz said.
The Importance of Investing in High School Students
Investing in young high school students not only gives them valuable work experience, but it also helps grow the landscape and irrigation industry in Colorado Springs.
“It has been a fantastic initiative, which we are hoping more landscape companies will get involved with,” said Stephanie Early, Chief Strategy Officer for Timberline Landscaping. “There is a shortage of workers in our industry, specifically in the realm of irrigation.”
The course and internships also prepare the students to pass critical landscaping certifications, creating a community of qualified professionals in the Colorado Springs area.
“In these classes and internships we are striving to provide the tools for students to pass NALP’s Landscape Industry Certifications and create a pipeline of up and coming green industry professionals,” Early said.
For more information on our work with the ALCC and Falcon High School, read our ALCC writeup.