What we do for the green industry

Classes offer training for green industry workers, including some bilingual classes, on how to landscape in the Nevada desert

Extension’s 2012 statewide Horticulture Situational Analysis and the 2011 Comprehensive Regional Water Management Plan by the Northern Nevada Water Planning Commission cite the need for more professional education in the green industry. Surveys of green-industry professionals showed demand for short seminars, nursery worker training and continuing education opportunities for professional certification, all during the off-season or at noon. Topics deemed important included diagnosing plant problems, plant insects and diseases, plant identification, integrated pest management, weed management, soil fertility and plant nutrition, native plant landscaping, pruning, and pesticide certification/safety training.

In southern Nevada, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas received requests to offer a class on fundamentals of horticulture. In addition, the rapid growth of the Hispanic population created a need for bilingual training related to landscape maintenance.

Northern Nevada’s Green Industry Training Program had its ninth basic training series of 8 classes for industry workers in 2019. Topics included plant diseases, weeds, soils, insects, landscapes, turfgrass, integrated pest management (IPM), pesticide safety and plant identification. Extension taught 15 advanced classes for continuing education credits for certification and licensing, including 5 in English and Spanish. Bilingual classes included pesticide safety, IPM, hands-on pruning and planting techniques.

In 2019, northern Nevada Extension offered two Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) trainings, an Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense certified program. The training consisted of 18 hours of classroom and hands-on training on water-efficiency in the landscape including information on sustainable landscapes, soils, irrigation systems and irrigation auditing, troubleshooting and maintenance. 29 professionals passed the exam to be QWEL certified in March and August.  This series has successfully continued into 2020 with another round of Green Industry Training to kick off the year and QWEL on the horizon for May.

Southern Nevada’s Basic Principles of Landscape Management taught 410 commercial clients in 2017, including 71 Spanish-speakers. Topics included pruning trees, integrated pest management and general landscaping. Extension, Clark County's botanical gardens was used for hands-on learning with 55 students. Extension also trained arborists in New Mexico and worked on a Best Practices for Arborists Program.

News Articles, Fact Sheets, Reports...
mowing lawn
Certified Nursery Workers (2019)
A list of certified Nursery Workers from the 2019 Green Industry Training program.
Fisher, J. 2019, Extension website
close up of plant
Certified Nursery Workers, Spring 2020
Certified Nursery Worker Professional List, Spring 2020 Class
Morris, C. 2020, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, Bulletin
Green Industry Professional’s Guide to Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
A Green Industry Professional’s Guide to Integrated Pest Management is designed to help green industry personnel understand IPM and to aid in implementing a pest control plan.
Hefner, M., Kratsch, H. 2017, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension SP-17-14
person performing catch can test on lawn
Look for QWEL-certified pros for your next landscape contract
Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper is a new program to Nevada for landscape professionals to learn about irrigation principles for water-efficiency.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
Pre-Emptive Pest Control Hefner, M. 2016, Reno Gazette-Journal
oregon grape flower
What’s blooming now?
Flowers blooming in spring that are inconspicuous.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal

Learn more about the program's team

Heidi Kratsch
Program Leader & Contact
M.L. Robinson
Program Leader & Contact