Environmental Horticulture

Welcome to Environmental Horticulture

Environmental Horticulture is the art and science of improving the quality of life by planting gardens: the “environmental” quality of our surroundings and human living spaces; “horticulture” (from Latin) means “to cultivate a garden,” a very popular pastime throughout America. In fact, while the current economy has had negative impacts on many industries, home gardening is in full bloom.

California’s Environmental Horticulture industry leads the way by commanding over a quarter of U.S. nursery production and retail sales, creating thousands of jobs and new businesses each year. The Environmental Horticulture Program at SRJC prepares students to step into a broad range of career opportunities available in this field with four different Associate in Science degrees and transfer programs and eight career certificate programs.

Broad Green Career Options

Look around you. Gardens are everywhere. They are homes to myriad birdlife and beneficial insects, and, most importantly, they uplift the human spirit and provide refuge from a busy world. With today’s uncertain climate, many people are rethinking expanses of water-intensive lawns for replacement with drought-tolerant and native plantings. Plantings are becoming a preferred means of controlling erosion and reducing greenhouse gasses, adding oxygen to the environment. Hospitals are being designed around garden environments to speed healing. A down economy has millions of Americans planting food “recession” gardens. The career possibilities are endless.

Whether you want to run your own business or prefer the security of working for an established company, the environmental horticulture industry provides a dynamic future for career-oriented individuals. Environmental horticulture includes wholesale and retail nursery businesses, greenhouse production of cut flowers and indoor plants, and floral design services. It also encompasses the entire landscape and turf industry, which designs, installs, constructs, plants, and maintains attractive and useful outdoor environments. Horticulturists are sometimes garden consultants and educators to home gardeners, workshop leaders, and estate managers.

Cultivate Your Green Thumb with Quality Instruction at SRJC

As good compost is to a plant, good education is to a human. SRJC's award-winning Environmental Horticulture instructors are dedicated experts who provide the very best instruction and service to students. Some adjunct faculty are owners of successful local horticulture businesses and are industry leaders themselves. The Environmental Horticulture Program’s advisory committee includes of some of the top industry professionals in the county.

Most courses incorporate hands-on learning activities where students gain knowledge and skills through real experience in realistic settings, such as SRJC’s Greenhouse and Nursery, or in a practical landscape project on the campus grounds. The Environmental Horticulture Program is strongly supported by the horticulture industry in Sonoma County that regularly seeks out SRJC graduates to fill good job positions. Many enterprises hire students part time while they are still completing coursework, so students will be exposed to professional environments before they graduate.

Certificate Programs

The following certificates are designed as a career ladder in which most courses in the smaller unit certificates can be carried over to the requirements for the larger, more comprehensive certificates. Students can build their qualifications as they take more horticulture courses.

Associate Degree Programs

Associate degrees are available to students who complete additional course requirements beyond the certificates.