The Environmental Horticulture: Garden Design with CAD Skills Certificate of Achievement program prepares students for garden design occupations within the landscape industry that require garden design skills, and drafting skills utilizing LANDCADD or similar software. The certificate program emphasizes hands-on learning, and most courses incorporate lab activities that apply knowledge and skills in realistic settings.
Students who have completed the Horticulture: Garden Design Certificate of Achievement will have fulfilled a portion of the Horticulture-Garden Design with CAD Skills Certificate of Achievement. Students desiring to expand their skills and education may enroll in additional courses and earn the Landscape Management or the Nursery Management Certificate of Achievement.
Garden design focuses primarily on residential landscape situations and small commercial sites. Projects may range from the design of small focal planting beds and perennial borders to complete garden layouts. Garden designers provide the planting design in addition to developing the landscape spatial composition. The advent of computer-assisted design (CAD) technology in the landscape industry adds a new dimension to skill and training requirements for landscape and garden designers. Sonoma County's landscape industry is expanding and the accompanying demand for employees with landscape design skills including CAD contribute to the need for students to augment their design and drafting expertise with CAD skills.
The landscape industry deals with all aspects of plant use in the landscape. People working in the landscape field derive job satisfaction from enhancing the function and beauty of the environment while being physically active outdoors or helping support that activity in allied sales and service occupations. Landscape work involves construction and planting projects, irrigation system design and water management, and specialty fields such as turf management, tree care, and interiors. This program provides an introductory base of plant knowledge and landscape skills, allowing students the option of entering a variety of jobs with the preparation for rapid advancement within their chosen occupations. The program is actively supported by the local horticulture industry.
The Horticulture industry, which involves the growing, selling, planting and servicing of plants and landscapes for human environments, is one of the fastest growing industries in America. The landscape industry in California is one of the state's largest industries. University studies have consistently found this dynamic, growing sector represents over $12 billion in sales and 130,000 employees. In addition, designed and maintained landscapes cover more than 1.6 million acres in California.
In Sonoma County the landscape industry has expanded dramatically in the last decade. Private and commercial property values are enhanced by professionally designed landscapes, and the services of large and small landscape firms are in high demand. In addition, a significant number of independent, entrepreneurial landscape/garden designers offer services throughout the county.
This industry-wide expansion has been accompanied by an increase in the demand for employees who can deal with all aspects of the landscape. Men and women who possess landscape management skills are qualified to advance into supervisory and management positions within landscape contracting firms, design or landscape construction companies, municipal, state, county, and federal agencies, entrepreneurial landscape maintenance enterprises, and other occupations that require the application of plant knowledge, drafting/design, irrigation design, and landscape construction skills.
This program of study is also available as an Associate degree major option. For more information see the Agriculture Department website.