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Sustainable Landscapes Cert
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Sustainable Landscapes Certification

PLNA has a certification for sustainable landscapes that piggy-backs on the Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist. Called the Sustainable Landscapes Certification (SLC), the program will certifies knowledge in the area of using plants to provide ecosystem services.

The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), in their 2009 Crystal Ball Report, identified sustainable landscaping practices to be "the biggest distinct business opportunity” of the 21st century for horticultural and landscaping professionals. Knowledge of the design, installation and maintenance of sustainable landscape systems is being driven by consumer demand and government regulations such as Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) permits, the Chesapeake Bay cleanup and Pa. Department of Environmental Protection storm water management best practices.

Sustainable landscaping practices are being viewed as the solution to real environmental problems.  Private sector programs such as the Sustainable Landscape SITESTM program and the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) are creating demand for professionals and companies with demonstrated expertise and knowledge in the design, installation and maintenance of sustainable landscape systems.

The PCH-Sustainable Landscapes Certification is an additional professional certification in one of the fastest growing areas of horticulture. A PCH-SLC not only has the deep understanding of plants and their care and use in the landscape, but additional specialized knowledge about how plants can be used most effectively to provide ecosystem services that improve water quality, air quality and enhance human health and performance. A PCH-SLC must maintain their certification through a program of continuing education credits to ensure his/her ongoing knowledge and expertise as a professional in the sustainable landscape discipline.

Study Manual and Reference Guide
A Sustainable Landscapes Study Manual and Reference Guide is available to help you prepare for this exam or to keep as a reference guide.  The cost is $50 for PLNA Members and $75 for non-members.  Click here to order your Study Manual and Reference Guide now.

Who is eligible for testing?
Individuals eligible for testing must currently hold the PCH designation.

What do my registration fees cover?
The application fee covers the first exam, one retest, two full years on the mailing list, and recognition when certification is achieved.

PLNA Member (owner/employee of PLNA member firm) -  $ 50.00
Non-member -  $ 75.00

Additional retests within the two-year application period are subject to a retest fee.

PLNA Member (owner/employee of PLNA member firm) -  $ 25.00
Non-member -  $ 35.00

What is the test procedure?
The exam consists of 100 questions to be completed in one hour. The format of the exam consists of a combination of multiple choice, true or false, and matching questions. The sections consist of:

• Natural Cycles and the Human Impacts on the Environment
• Native Plants
• Key Benefits of Sustainable Landscapes
• Stormwater Best Management Practices for Sustainable Landscapes
• The Economics of Sustainable Landscapes
• Applicable Environmental Regulations
• Design Goals for Sustainable Landscapes including Understanding the Site, Design and Construction, Monitoring and Maintenance

When can I take the exam?
Testing for the Sustainable Landscapes designation can be coordinated with the PCH Exam Test Schedule.  Contact Cathy Corrigan at or 717.238.1683.

SLC Program Forms & Resources

More InfoHide Info ]
Click on any of the forms below to download
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
SLC Application PDF (223.41 KB)  more ] Administration 12/8/2014
SLC Study Manual Order Form PDF (107.19 KB) Administration 12/8/2014
SLC Program Fact Sheet PDF (229.68 KB) Administration 12/8/2014
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