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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 tenth basic training series of classes for industry workers in 2020. Topics included plant diseases, weeds, soils, insects, landscapes, turfgrass, integrated pest management (IPM), pesticide safety and plant identification. In 2019 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.
Also 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 a round of socially distanced QWEL Training in September.
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.