During the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of people lost their jobs. Many are even searching for a new career altogether.
If you are looking for that career change, and like to work outdoors and with your hands, Del Mar's Continuing Education landscaping program is a good option.
The Landscape and Design Maintenance program can help someone who's already in the industry, or a person learning horticulture for the first time. They plan to offer a series of classes that will teach students how to lay sod, fertilize, mow, install sprinklers, landscape design, work on turf and even install concrete masonry.
"It can be somebody interested in the industry that wants to better improve their job performance," said Susan Hall, one of the program's two instructors. "Or somebody who wants to learn more about plants, basic design, or any principle of horticulture that they want to learn about."
Hall will be instructing the courses related to design, plant materials and xeriscape management. The other instructor, Gabriel Dempsey, will be teaching all hands-on courses, such as landscape and turf maintenance.
"Right now we're doing the landscaping part, and then we'll also get into hardscapes, which is concrete: building a pergola like this flagstone install," Dempsey said. "Those are trades that a lot of people don't want to do anymore, and there's good money in that trades."
Both Dempsey and Hall have their own landscape businesses and say were able to continue working throughout the pandemic.
Local business owner Matt Schmidt started his landscape business Army of One Landscaping & Lawn four years ago. He said when the pandemic started, business boomed.
"It's actually gotten busier," he said. "I guess a lot of people are able to spend some time at home and kinda realize what they really need to do."
Schmidt said working outdoors can implant a help people develop a strong work ethic.
"Don't be afraid to work outside and sweat and stuff like that," he said. "I mean, I think it instills a lot of self discipline and pride and responsibility."
There are different courses provided in the program:
- Xeriscape Management - Water Wise Management
- Principles of Horticulture
- Landscape Plant Materials
- Landscape Design
- Landscape Maintenance
- Turf Grass Maintenance
The course begins Tuesday, and classes cost $180 each with a time commitment of 3-4 weeks per course.
For more information, contact the Continuing Education Department at (361) 698-1328.