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Smartscape offers green jobs training at affordable price, helps professionals stay on leading edge of landscape industry saving clients water, money, and time

In a tough economy, one way to stay ahead of the competition is to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, research, and practices in the industry for which you work. For the landscaping business, this is especially true. As the housing market remains stalled, new landscape installations and maintenance accounts are often hard to come by, and competition for customers is fierce. Therefore, programs that provide continuing education and training—especially at an affordable price—are all the more important and relevant for businesses today.

Enter Smartscape: A training program for landscape professionals
Sponsored by the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (a Water – Use It Wisely partner) and the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County, Smartscape is a green jobs training program providing 20 hours of instruction on the proper irrigation and care for water-efficient landscapes in the Sonoran Desert.

Over the eight Smartscape sessions, instructors from the University of Arizona, municipal water departments, and the landscape industry present the latest research-based information regarding sustainable landscaping practices.

“We find the Smartscape program provides the updated training our employees need to keep our customers informed, as well as keeping us leaps and bounds ahead of the competition,” states Jill Gilbert, Customer Relations Manager for AZ Royal Landscaping and Design.

Smartscape professionals promote sustainable practices
Instruction on sustainable landscaping practices can help companies cut back on clients’ water use, where up to 70% of a residential water bill is devoted to outdoor uses such as landscapes and pools. By helping reduce outdoor water consumption, Smartscape graduates help homeowners save where it counts—in their wallet.

In addition, Smartscape attendees are trained on the fundamentals of designing, installing, and maintaining low-water-use landscapes compatible with our desert environment. Using landscape plants that are adapted to the climate and soils of the Sonoran Desert can make for a lower maintenance yard, which saves clients valuable time and energy.

“Smartscape is a comprehensive program, packed with useful information, taught by an all-star team of Valley landscape professionals, in a format anyone can understand, and built around our typical work schedule,” says Bryan Wallace, Vice President of Operations at Victor’s Landscaping Inc. and a Smartscape Certified Professional.

Online directory connects graduates to customers
To help Smartscape professionals market their training, graduates have the option to be included in the Smartscape Certified Professional Online Directory, found at http://www.smartscape.org/. The Online Directory allows homeowners to find a Smartscape Certified Professional in their area. As more homeowners want to save money and time in their yard, businesses and individuals who market their Smartscape training have another “leg up” on the competition.

Next class starts this month
The next Smartscape course will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 3:30-6:00 P.M., January 23- February 15, 2012. All classes will be held at the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County, 4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85040. The registration fee for the entire series is $75.00. Please contact Haley Paul at smartscape@cals.arizona.edu or (602) 827-8200 x395 if you are a landscape professional interested in taking the course or sending your employees to the course.

Find Smartscape on Facebookand Twitter too!

From time to time, WUIW features guest bloggers who write about water conservation and education. Haley Paul is our guest blogger this week. Smartscape is co-sponsored by AMWUA, a WUIW partner.

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