|Van and his Bernese, Gibson, taking a stroll after a Pruning class.|
Our beloved Van Bobbitt just completed his final spring quarter teaching at South Seattle College.
Van led the Landscape Horticulture program for 16 years as instructor, faculty senator and Arboretum at South coordinator. He will continue serving on the Arboretum at South Committee, working with influential people to improve the Arb and promote it in the community. And, he will no doubt catch up on some world travel.
Before teaching at South, Van served at the WSU Cooperative Extension and for nine years coordinated the statewide Master Gardener program. In 1982 he began work as the first Coordinator of Continuing Education at the new Center for Urban Horticulture, before the facilities were built.
His list of credentials and awards is long, but his students remember him as the man who made time for us, who helped us succeed, who helped us find and use our talents, who found us jobs and connections in the green industry. He always said his greatest pleasure, besides teaching us the plants, was seeing a former student who is now employed with a prestigious landscaping firm, in a teaching position themselves, or succeeding at their own small business ventures.
Van received a BA in Botany from Central Washington University, then took a Masters of Science in Agriculture from CalPoly San Luis Obispo, and certification in Public Relations from the University of Washington. During a sabbatical in 2010, Van visited 13 hort teaching programs from BC to California, gleaning ideas for the program at South, and the Ecological Restoration classes grew out of that.
He is a contributing author and peer reviewer to several NW plant guides and publications; a Certified Arborist, Certified Nursery Professional and Oregon Tilth Accredited Organic Landcare Practitioner.
Along with his distinguished career in the green industry, he has earned honors and awards from the Washington Native Plant Society, WSU Extension, Plant Amnesty, University of Washington, Master Gardeners of Washington, Washington State Dept of Natural Resources, Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Seattle Colleges.