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Forestry and Environmental Studies

Program Description

Concerned about the environment? Interested in ecology? In Forestry and Environmental Studies, students learn about the scientific identification of trees and plants, as well as landscaping design, construction, and maintenance. Students are prepared to further their education in fields like Environmental Science, Ecology, Turf Management, Arboriculture, Landscape Construction, or Nursery Management. The program is taught using problem-based learning with an emphasis on authentic, hands-on projects in the community. Completion of these projects requires the use of skills and knowledge gained in the classroom such as plant identification, landscape construction practices, arboriculture practices, turfgrass science, and plant health care.

Classes are taught outdoors as much as possible and educational field trips are added to create dynamics in learning. Some of the traveling a student may experience is (but is not limited to), traveling to other schools to work with science classes, going to City, County, and State Parks, participating in invasive plant identification and eradication, and helping to replace plant species with native material. Classes are also visiting forests and lumber mills, working on golf courses, visiting large and small landscape design and building firms, attending turfgrass commercial equipment sales events, developing relations in business by visiting plant propagation and greenhouse facilities, investigating tree care and landscape maintenance businesses, visiting plant pathology labs, looking at mechanical engineering and agricultural repair shops, making occasional trips to farms that produce fruits, vegetables, Christmas trees, row crops, and nursery production.

When class cannot be held outdoors, indoor instruction is geared toward personal communication and marketing skills, plant fertility, soil science, plant identification, and hand/power tool usage and repair.

In the first year of the program, students are encouraged to acquire a driver's license. This leads to allowing students to better participate in summer employment in the field and involvement in an internship in a position related to the Green Industry during the second year.

Alumni of the program have gone on to have successful traditional Green Industry careers such as designing and managing golf courses, becoming entrepreneurs in landscape construction companies, turf grass and athletic field installation and maintenance, plant health care technicians, US Forest Service employees, Parks and Recreation managers, tree care, and even running plant pathology labs.

Other students have successfully taken other nontraditional destinations after graduation such as investment bankers, ski area managers, medical doctors, and business owners to name a few. These students have all suggested that Forestry and Environmental Studies class created the foundation in their lives for working as a team, understanding how to think and memorize, developing personal communication skills, time management, creative expression, and problem-solving in difficult situations.

If you are interested in working outside with plants and turf, this program may be for you. If you complete the Forestry and Environmental Studies program, you could be employed in various careers in the “Green” industry. You will have an opportunity to study firsthand, given a work-based experience, between three and five major fields of study during the first year of the program. In the second year, you will concentrate on one area, attending class for approximately 50 minutes a day and working three to four hours a day in your area of interest.

Digital Program Notebook

Program Requirements

GRADE LEVEL: 10, 11, 12




Level I – Comp or CP English (1cr); IA Plant & Hort Sc (1cr); IB Urban Forestry (1cr); Environmental Science (Icr)

Level II – CP English (1cr); IIA Landscape Design (1cr); IIB Turf Sc. & Mgt (1cr); Environmental Science II (1cr); Optional- F&LM Capstone II (1cr)

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Program Overview

Program Time

  • Two years

  • One period (50 minutes) of Technical Theory

  • Three periods (170 minutes) of work-based experience

General Working Conditions

  • Working indoors and/or outdoors

Areas of Concentration

  • Plant identification and selection

  • Landscape maintenance, construction and design

  • Environmental ecologyArboriculture (Tree Management)

  • Turf management

  • Equipment maintenance, operation and safety

  • Garden center and nursery operations

  • Greenhouse operations

Future Educational Opportunities

  • Two year college Associate Degree

  • Four year Baccalaureate Degree

  • School-to-work employment transitions

  • Industry internships

Helpful Background

  • Reading and math skills

  • Problem solving skills

  • Interest in creative design

  • Interest in biological sciences and the environment

Additional Requirements

  • Communicate orally and in writing

  • Good interpersonal relationships

  • Good personal appearance and hygiene

  • Positive work attitude

  • Good organizational skills

  • Consistent attendance

Meet the Instructors

Kyle Kutinsky

Kyle Kutinsky
kkutinsky@kentschools.netEmail Kyle

Stories & Projects from Forestry and Landscape Management

Theodore Roosevelt Forestry and Landscape Management Students Participate at the 21st annual Tree Care Industry Association Foundation (TCIAF) Student Career Day Supported by STIHL

November 27, 2017

Erin Rockwell

Theodore Roosevelt Forestry and Landscape Management Students Participate at the 21st annual Tree Care Industry Association Foundation (TCIAF) Student Career Day Supported by STIHL in Columbus, Ohio, November 3, 2017.  More than 230 college and vocational students representing 17 schools from across the country attended the event.  The Student Skills Competition was comprised of three main events: Safety Gear Check, Belayed Scramble and Work Climb. Students representing the Theodore Roosevelt Forestry and Landscape Management class are as follows: 

  • Shane Brett, Kent student, Level 2 Senior

  • Brandon Taylor, Kent student, Level 2 Senior

  • Jalen Sanders, Kent student, Level 2 Senior

  • Ryan Novosal, Hudson student, Level 2 Senior

  • Griffen Wise, Kent student, Level 1 Junior

  • John Bailey, Kent student, Level 1 Junior

  • Erin Rockwell, Cuyahoga Falls student, Level 2 Senior

  • Dakotha Johnston, Kent student, Level 1 Junior

  • Helena Esparza, Kent student, Level 1 Junior


  • Tree Care Industry Association Foundation Expo and National Conference, Columbus, Ohio.

  • The Skills Contest took place at Goodale Park in downtown Columbus. 

  • The Expo was at the Columbus Convention Center.

  • The last time the convention and completion was in Ohio eleven years ago.

When:  Friday, November 3, 2017

How:  Students participated in three events; 

  1. Work climb - this event assesses the ability of a climber to organize themselves, safely ascend into the tree, communicate while in the tree and working, move safely throughout the tree, and then safely descend from the tree.

  2. Belayed scramble - this speed event assesses the climber's ability to safely climb a tree as quick as possible while being tied in with a rope and harness.

  3. Safety gear check - this event assesses the student's ability to recognize equipment used in climbing and rigging and the ability to decide if it is safe to use on a commercial worksite.

Points are added up from each event for the final total.

Students earning Stihl gift certificate awards as follows:

  • Erin Rockwell

    • 1st place Vocational women's overall

      • $500

    • 1st place Voc. women's Belayed Speed climb

      • $50

  • Shane Brett

    • 1st place Vocational men's overall

      • $500

  • Dakotha Johnston

    • 1st place Voc. women's Work Climb

      • $50

    • 2nd place Voc. women's overall

      • $100

  • Jallen Sanders

    • 1st place Voc. men's Belayed Speed Climb

      • $50

    • 3rd place Voc. men's overall

      • $50

  • Helena Esparza

    • 3rd place voc. women's overall

      • $50