By Brittany Eyres
Due to increasing demand from students, NSU now offers courses in landscaping.
Branch Stones, sophomore, was part of the push to add landscaping as a major. A year ago, she decided to ask her academic advisor what she could do to be a part of all the landscaping around campus.
“I really enjoy seeing landscapers blowing leaves out of the pathways every day,” she said. “I want to get rid of the spider webs in the trees. I knew this was a career I could find myself in. So NSU needed to do something.”
Stones created a petition, and only a week later, she had all the signatures she needed to convince the school to start the program.
A survey sent out to high schools throughout the country indicated a large interest in landscaping as a career choice, which helped form NSU’s decision to include landscaping as a major. Many graduating students are now looking at NSU as a potential university to attend, which helps to achieve President Hanbury’s 2020 goal. President Hanbury was excited about the program.
“I really enjoy helping students reach their full potential,” Hanbury said. “The fact that we are one of the only universities to offer landscaping as a major really makes NSU stand out above the rest.”
Classes for the major will include Lawn Mowing 101, Weed Whacking for beginners, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Gardening, Bush Sculpting and more. As part of the new major, students will have the chance to participate in landscaping with the hundreds of landscapers on campus.
NSU plans to buy $15,000 worth of landscaping equipment, including lawn mowers, weed whackers, shovels, gloves and seeds. There will also be tracks to focus on within the landscaping major. Students who are more interested in the business side of landscaping can take classes to help build their landscaping empire. Students who are interested in the design of landscaping can take courses that look at some of the best landscaping in the world.
Many classes will incorporate field trips to Home Depot and Lowes for students to learn about the different tools needed and the different plants that can grow in the South Florida environment. Each landscaping major will have a required environmental science course.
A local high school senior, as well as a future landscaping major, Rosa Flores said, “I’m so excited a university finally has a major that I am truly interested in. I’ve looked all across the U.S. and couldn’t find one school that offers any sort of landscaping courses.”
Some students are disappointed that the major didn’t come along sooner. Environmental science student, Leif Grassy said, “If I wasn’t already so deep into my environmental major, I would definitely switch to landscaping. I still have electives that might just get filled with landscaping courses. This is exciting.”