Back in mid October, the M.J. team had the pleasure of taking part with the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association (ONLA) to welcome 167 high school students from across Ohio for the sixth annual Ohio High School Landscape Olympics (OHLO) held at OSU ATI in Wooster, Ohio.
Ohio high schools and career centers with horticulture programs were invited to participate in the Landscape Olympics, an educational competition where students could test their skills and learn more about a career in the green industry.
OHLO 2021 began Thursday evening with a Career Exploration event with 24 companies—giving students the opportunity to meet with green industry leaders and learn more about careers available to them in the industry. Then on Friday, Students from 13 schools competed in 15 events throughout the day. Events included cost estimating, hardscape installation, irrigation assembly and troubleshooting, plant identification, turfgrass, knot tying, skid steer operation and landscape maintenance.
M.J. Design sponsored a first-time event for site surveying. The day ended with an awards ceremony, giving medals to the top 3 in each event, top 10 overall individuals and then the top 5 schools. Tolles Career & Technical Center, Delaware Area Career Center, Knox County Career Center and Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, were a few of the schools from Central Ohio who had students participating.
It was a lot of fun to watch students test their skills on pieces of equipment and get hands-on experience from different areas within the green industry that they could someday be doing. The students really come together to offer support to one another. The last event is Plant Installation and all the schools gather around and cheer on their team.
It is most rewarding to talk with students and their parents about the Green Industry. Most parents are surprised at all the career opportunities the landscape, grower and greenhouse industries have to offer. We are already excited and looking forward to the 2022 competition.