By Collin Wilson, C'13 with Shelby Longland, '13

“Sustainability” is the new buzzword among landscape horticulturalists. Planting trees, shrubs and flowers that will last is not only environmentally friendly but also economically beneficial for both businesses and homeowners. In an effort to educate both professionals and homeowners on landscape sustainability, University of Richmond’s School of Professional & Continuing Studies Landscape Design Program Specialist, Cary Jamieson, developed a new certificate program. Megan Zanella-Litke, UR Sustainability Coordinator, and Steve Glass, UR Horticulturalist and Landscape Manager, are both excited about the new certificate—they recognize how the certificate will help their initiatives of sustainable practices for the campus.

The Landscape Horticulture, Plants and Practices (LHPP) professional certificate program is perfect for those interested in expanding their knowledge of plants and sustainable horticulture practices, including homeowners and professionals in a variety of fields.

This program targets a diverse group of students including architects, landscape architects, landscape designers, engineers, business owners, property management companies, landscapers, landscape maintenance companies, horticulturalists and homeowners.

By educating both beginning and expert horticulturalists, Jamieson hopes to save businesses and homeowners valuable time and resources. “Several trees in the Richmond area are being planted without regard to proper sustainability guidelines and are dying. Constantly going back and forth from Home Depot and having to replace plants every year can become very expensive.”

With recent mandates for buildings around University of Richmond’s campus to follow Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, Jamieson saw a specific need to educate professional landscape horticulturalists to improve their knowledge of these guidelines. In this program, students will learn many sustainable horticultural techniques that follow LEED standards. Properly installing rain barrels, planting trees for longevity and installing landscape turf are just a few of the hands-on activities that students will engage in.

This program also helps the University follow the guidelines of its Climate Action Plan by educating its community members.

“This program is very ‘hands-on,’” says Jamieson. “Students will put the theories they learned into use by observing, planting and implementing sustainability techniques.”

The curriculum consists of 13 courses that address sustainability in landscape horticulture plants and practices. The time-frame for completion is between one and two years. All of the classes are held in the evening, offering working adults an opportunity to take the classes as well. However, students who are interested in simply taking a class or two are more than welcome to enroll in courses that do not require a prerequisite.

Jamieson, a sustainable gardener herself, explains her passion for the program: “My hopes are that both professional landscape horticulturalists and beginning homeowners come away with a deeper understanding of how they can make a difference in the landscape in the Richmond area. By combining landscape, ecology and sustainable practices, I want these students to gain a greater understanding of how to care for their plants so that they are in balance with nature.”

To learn more about this new landscape certificate program visit the program online or contact Cary Jamieson at cjamieson@richmond.edu or (804) 248-7701.