Cuyahoga Community College Takes First Place at 47th National Collegiate Landscape Competition - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Cuyahoga Community College Takes First Place at 47th National Collegiate Landscape Competition

Photo: Jill Odom/NALP

When NALP CEO Britt Wood took the stage during the closing ceremony of the 47th National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC) on March 18, 2023, and asked, “Who had a good time?” the roar from the students was undeniable.

Wood thanked Mississippi State University for hosting this year’s event along with educators Tim Schauwecker and Jason Walker for spearheading the effort. He also thanked the sponsors for not only their financial support but for giving of their time and energy as well.

Roger Phelps, corporate communications manager for STIHL Inc., encouraged students to find their passion and their why. He also challenged students to find a better way to do things. He presented the #RealSTIHL Spirit Award to North Carolina State University. The student social media award went to Joe Roberts with Wallace State Community College and the faculty social media award winner was Emily Erickson with North Carolina State University.

Jenn Myers, executive director of the NALP Foundation & senior director of workforce development, presented the NALP Foundation’s awards, including the new Kevin Kehoe Student Leader of the Year.

Jenn Myers and Ian Holcomb, the Kevin Kehoe Student Leader of the Year
Photo: NALP/Philippe Nobile Photography

The Kevin Kehoe Student Leader of the Year award was presented to Ian Holcomb with Michigan State University. Created in memory of Kevin Kehoe, this award recognizes a student who has demonstrated strong leadership within their academic community, has a passion for helping others, and serves as an outstanding example to other students preparing for a career in landscaping, lawn care, or related field.

The 2023 Outstanding Educator of the Year award was presented to Dr. Reese Nelson with Brigham Young University – Idaho.

Before naming the competitive event winners, NCLC chairperson David Grover praised the students for facing adversity during the competition and sticking to their game plan.

The three student superstars were Keith Rush with Cuyahoga Community College, Cody Byrd with Alamance Community College and AJ McCoy with Columbus State Community College.

The top 10 schools for the 47th NCLC are listed below.

  1. Cuyahoga Community College
  2. Brigham Young University – Provo
  3. Mississippi State University
  4. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
  5. Michigan State
  6. Brigham Young University – Idaho
  7. Colorado State
  8. Penn State
  9. North Carolina State University
  10. Virginia Tech

Next year’s NCLC will be hosted at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, on March 13-16, 2024.

For the full final results, go to

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.