Student Workshops

These workshops are provided as an additional educational experience for students and faculty. Students can earn points towards their CDS certificate by attending a combination of morning and afternoon sessions.

Registration is $20 per person and includes lunch. Workshops run independently of the competitive events, and participation in these workshops is not required to compete in the events. Participation in some workshops is limited due to space constraints, please register early.

Workshop Topics

3D Exterior Landscape Design Workshop

Sponsored by: VectorWorks, Inc.

The 3D Exterior Landscape Design workshop will be an essential activity for landscape industry students who are considering a career in landscape design, design/build, and design/sales.

Participants in this workshop will:
  • learn about efficiencies gained when combining 3D with their 2D design workflows with hybrid landscape objects.
  • recognize the critical need to test your proposed design with sun/shade analysis, surface slope and drainage studies, cut/fill calculations, and nighttime lighting appropriateness
  • realize the true value of bringing the customer’s dreams to life with 3D perspective views, rendering styles, animated walk–throughs and other opportunities such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).

Arboriculture Classroom Workshop

Sponsored by: Husqvarna

Arboriculture Hands-On Workshop

Sponsored by: Bartlett Tree Experts

**The morning and afternoon sessions are each limited to 30 students. Max 2 students per school, per session. First come, first served.

During this workshop, students will rotate between three stations:
  • Basic Climbing and Limb Walking techniques (hands-on)
  • Throwline techniques (hands-on)
  • Rigging techniques (demonstration)
*Students attending the Arboriculture – Hands-On workshop must bring their own saddles and personal protective equipment (hard hat, safety glasses, gloves, etc.), and wear appropriate climbing shoes and attire.

Biophilic Interiors Workshop

Sponsored by: Green Plants for Green Buildings

This workshop focuses on understanding and integrating biophilic design principles, which seek to connect our inherent need to affiliate with nature in modern interior environments. Through a mix of theoretical knowledge and practical applications, participants will learn how to create spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also promote well-being and environmental sustainability. 

  • Learn the economics of Biophilia.
  • Understand the health benefits of biophilic environments. 
  • Overview of Current Design trends and industry best practices.
  • A Dive into case studies of Biophilic Spaces.

Climate Change and Arboriculture: As Earth Warms, Trees Feel the Heat

Sponsored by: Davey

Compact Excavator Operation Workshop

Sponsored by: John Deere

Compact Track/Skid Steer Loader Operation 

Sponsored by: Caterpillar Inc.

The Compact Track/Skid Steer Loader Operation workshop will introduce and expand upon student/faculty current knowledge of this type of equipment within the industry.

During this workshop, we will discuss the follow topics:

  • Basic machine applications and usage
  • What makes a skid steer loader a "Swiss Army knife" within the industry
  • How to maximize machine utilization
  • Overview of available solutions, in terms of machine size and attachment
  • Understanding how to select the appropriate machine and tool

Computer Aided Landscape Design Workshop

Sponsored by: DynaScape

Every professional Landscape Project begins with a 2D Landscape Plan. Learn how to take a property survey and transpose it into a base plan with grades. Expand that base plan into a Concept Plan, Preliminary Plan all the way through to a Master Plan.

Learn best practices to save time while producing plans that comply with Industry Standards. The basic will be covered from drawing a building, understanding Layers and Drawing Modes to labelling and dimensioning.

CAD drawings are a great resource to make take-off calculations with virtually a click of a button. Learn about the robust plant database and how it provides the designer with plant options that they can choose by exposure, zones, colors etc. Once plants have been labelled plant photos, plant schedules and quotes can be created seamlessly.

Construction Cost Estimating Workshop

Sponsored by: Environmental Management, Inc.

Review of general techniques to understand how to cost estimate.

  • Basic Plan Review- understanding plans/how to read a plan (plan review/PowerPoint)
  • Basics of Estimating- quantity take offs/formulas/general procedures (exercise to be handed out)
  • Conversion of information and assigning costs (exercise to be handed out)
*Students will need to bring an architects and engineer’s scale and calculator.

Evolution in Landscaping- The Rise of Robotic Mowing in Turf Care Workshop

Sponsored by: Husqvarna

Hardscape Installation Workshop

Sponsored by: Belgard, Anchor Wall Systems, and Permaloc

The classroom will introduce students to the hardscape industry including the history of interlocking pavers and retaining walls. Also, the components involved in creating a long-lasting project, things to consider when looking to start a hardscape business and a brief overview on construction of walls and pavers. The outdoor portion will focus on demonstrating some of the tips for installation of walls and pavers as well as some good construction techniques.

Irrigation 101 Workshop

Sponsored by: Hunter Industries and American Society of Irrigation Consultants

Irrigation 101; Irrigation Hands-on

  • 3 groups, with 45 minutes per each session 
  • Indoor Product Instruction – Product ID, installation techniques and some basic troubleshooting
  • Outside Installation Demonstration – How to read a plan, a legend, and install the components. 
  • Outside Troubleshooting – Basic and intermediate troubleshooting of electrical, valves and hydraulics

Irrigation 201; Principles of Design 

  • Principles of design to include basic hydraulics, layouts of zones, pipe sizing, and product selection

Landscape Lighting Workshop

Sponsored by: FX Luminaire

**The morning and afternoon sessions are each limited to 25 students. Max 2 students per school, per session. First come, first served.

During this workshop, we will be exploring many avenues in landscape lighting. A few, but not all, include the following:

  • Electrical -terms, Ohms Law, voltage drop calculations
  • Products - Transformers and Fixture selection
  • Installation “hands-on”- wire selection, wire splices, wiring techniques, fixture placement, transformer installation and timing mechanisms
  • Design - basic design description with “do’s and don’ts”
  • Maintenance - maintaining a lighting system
  • Value to the property “Why Lighting"

Maintenance Estimating Workshop

Sponsored by: LandCare

During the 75 minute workshop, offered twice, we will be discussing in depth the following aspects of estimating maintenance contracts:

  • Quantitative measurements
  • Use of measuring software GoiLawn
  • Production factors
  • Direct cost, Indirect cost and Profit
  • Discovery with client
  • Production reviews
  • Use of estimating software Aspire

Plant Problem Diagnosis Workshop

Sponsored by: Bartlett Tree Experts

**This session is limited to 48 students. Max 2 students per school. First come, first served.

Spots, Rots, and Knots, Oh My! –How to diagnose plant disease, insect, and abiotic problems.

Power Management Workshop

Sponsored by: Milwaukee Tool

Are all batteries created with the same standards? How many batteries will I need to complete a full day of work? Discover the fundamentals of battery Outdoor Power Equipment, its benefits and challenges, from a leader in the lithium-ion space. Learn about industry trends, cutting-edge hardware and software advancements, and the future of battery technology. Uncover key considerations for end users, including electrical infrastructure needs and best battery management practices. Explore various battery adoption paths to optimize productivity throughout a day's work, while emphasizing performance and sustainability. On completion, students will be well-equipped to embrace this transformative shift and harness the next generation of Outdoor Power Equipment.


Sponsored by: Corona Tools & Michigan State University

**The morning and afternoon sessions are each limited to 30 students. Max 2 students per school, per session. First come, first served.

Safety First Workshop

Sponsored by: SiteOne

Sales Presentation Workshop

Sponsored by: Gravely

In this workshop students will be introduced to the sales cycle with a strong focus on how to listen by asking the right questions. While presenting a formal sales process, JW Washington—Director of Business Development, Ariens Company, shares 19+ years of sales management dos and don’ts providing attendees a usable road map from prospect to a successfully closed sale. Learning is fast paced for the student and focuses on immediately applicable core competencies with learnings for continued long term development.

Small Engine Repair Workshop

Sponsored by: STIHL, Inc.

Sustainable Fertilization: Building Business and Plant Health Workshop

The Design Process: Concept to Outdoor Space

Sponsored by: Vectorworks, Inc., Columbia, MD

Truck and Trailer and Mower Operating Safety Procedures

Sponsored by: Gravely

General introduction of the safe operation of a truck and trailer, securing trailer loads, commercial zero turn mower operation and a generic intro into DOT rules and regulations. Personal safety will also be reviewed pertaining to personal protective wear such as ear plugs, eyewear, clothing, gloves, skin protectant, etc. Fun and engaging opportunity within a classroom and hands on field training.

Woody Ornamental Plant ID Workshop

Sponsored by: Proven Winners® ColorChoice®

NALPF/KFF Business Track | Customer Management/Business Development Workshop

Sponsored by: NALP Foundation & The Kehoe Family Foundation

NALPF/KFF Business Track | Leadership & Company Culture Workshop

Sponsored by: NALP Foundation & The Kehoe Family Foundation