Students travel to Colorado for national landscape competition

Published 03.28.2019

Landscape/Plant Production
Alumni News
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School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies News
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Seven Pennsylvania College of Technology horticulture students, a supportive alumnus and a faculty member recently traveled to Colorado State University for the 43rd  annual National Collegiate Landscape Competition.

A number of Penn College students were among the top performers in their respective categories, and the team finished 33rd among 64 schools. Brigham Young University-Provo was the overall winner.

Making the March 19-24 trip to Fort Collins, Colorado, were students William X. DeMarco, of Glen Mills; Joseph A. Kern, of Mechanicsburg; Adri S. Lee, of Williamsport; Drew J. Marsh, of Marble; Kendra M. Snyder, of Montoursville; Kendall A. Wanner, of Denver, Pennsylvania; and Alexis M. Witherite, of Spring Mills. Lee and Marsh are enrolled in landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis; the others are in the major’s landscape emphasis.
With Colorado’s natural beauty as a backdrop, the Pennsylvania College of Technology landscape/horticulture technology contingent relaxes after national competition. From left are students Kendall A. Wanner, of Denver, Pa., and Adri S. Lee, of Williamsport; alumnus Ronald A. Burger; students Kendra M. Snyder, of Montoursville, and Drew J. Marsh, of Marble; assistant professor Carl J. Bower Jr.; and students Joseph A. Kern, of Mechanicsburg, William X. DeMarco, of Glen Mills, and Alexis M. Witherite, of Spring Mills.Ronald A. Burger – a 1978 graduate of predecessor institution Williamsport Area Community College and a 2013 Alumni Mentorship honoree – accompanied the group, as did Carl J. Bower Jr., a 1993 alumnus and assistant professor of horticulture.

“The NCLC is a competition that tests the skills of our students and brings out the passion, energy and commitment of the landscape and horticulture students from across the country,” Bower said. “It also shows our students that they are as good as, if not better, than many two- and four-year students in similar programs.  The fact that we placed in the top 10 in four contests against almost 800 students is a testament to their skills.”

Among individual results, DeMarco and Wanner finished fifth in Hardscape Installation; Snyder placed sixth in both Sales Presentation and Computer Aided Landscape Design, and 14th in Annual and Perennial Identification; Kern and Wanner combined for eighth place in Wood Construction; and Wanner placed 17th in Exterior Landscape Design.

“It was one of the best experiences in my life,” said Snyder, who ended the competition 33rd out of 788 students. “I placed sixth in two of my competitions, against about 40 students in each. It’s the best way to know I’m headed in the right direction for my career!”

The competition brings together the top landscape and horticulture students, companies, and dozens of the industry’s biggest manufacturers and suppliers. Each year, hundreds of students from two- and four-year colleges demonstrate their skills in real-world, competitive events and network with top companies at the largest Career Fair in the field.

“Going to NCLC was a fun-filled experience in which we learned, made new connections within the horticulture industry and showed off what we have learned in the classrooms in our competitions,” added DeMarco, who placed 41st in the final results.

Wanner is announced as a national scholarship winner.Wanner – who placed 48th overall – received a $2,000 scholarship from the National Association of Landscape Professionals Foundation.  His Clevenger Safety Scholarship was one of 64 scholarships totaling $111,000 awarded by the foundation at the event.

“We spent a day at Rocky Mountain National Park, where we traveled up to 9,700-foot elevation to enjoy unbelievable scenery and got to see all kinds of wildlife, from bighorn sheep to elk,” Bower said. “In addition to the contest, the visit was a highlight of the trip and gave us a chance to refresh after a long week.”

“We are so grateful for the support of our corporate partners, alumni and friends, who made contributions to finance part of this year’s trip,” he added. “Their support provided tremendous opportunity for our students to learn from the leaders in the green industry.”

For more about horticulture/landscape technology majors within the college’s School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies, call 570-327-4516.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Photos provided