A Little Dirt Never Hurt


Around 800 students weren’t afraid to spend a long weekend getting muddy at North Carolina State University for the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ 39th annual Student Career Days. Traveling from the nation’s top horticulture and landscape programs, the students competed in more than 28 team and individual competitions over the course of the three-day competition, March 12-15, 2015.


Also in attendance were college faculty advisers, contractors, industry manufacturers and industry leaders who encouraged, recruited and networked with these students at the career fair and during the events.

About 800 students, representing 65 teams (including three FFA high school teams), competed in more than 28 different landscape-related events in Raleigh, North Carolina. PHOTOS: DANIELLE PESTA

Along with NALP‘s rebranding (the association just switched its name from the Professional Landcare Network [PLANET] last month), the Student Career Days event is taking on a new name as well — the National Collegiate Landscape Competition – for 2016. Mississippi State University will be hosting the competition for the 40th anniversary of the competition, after being the very first host university 40 years ago.

Many celebrations and prizes were also awarded at the show. The National Hispanic Landscape Alliance celebrated their fourth anniversary with a cake-cutting ceremony at their booth during the career fair. During the opening ceremony, each school had the opportunity to show their school spirit with a cheer. The judges voted and Sandhills Community College won the best school cheer and $1,000 for their college. Throughout the week, students were also encouraged 1to participate in a social media challenge using the hashtag #PLANETSCD. Carlos Montez won the grand prize for the challenge for documenting his experiences across multiple social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Student Career Days competitive events (first and third photos), National Hispanic Landscape Alliance’s fourth anniversary (second photo), the SCD awards presentation (far right).