Bob Pedatella’s high school course load helped prepare him for the hands-on work he does today. Earth science, horticulture, wood and metal shop – “all of these different classes have helped me in the field,” he tells high school students of his alma mater when he speaks at career days.
He wants young people to see a future in the landscaping industry and understand how a career path can unfold. So, he dedicates time each year to community service in the local schools he once attended. For the elementary students, Haskell, N.J.-based Kodiak Landscape Design holds an Arbor Day tree planting.
“We dig the hole and show them how to plant a tree the correct way, and we talk about Arbor Day and why it is important to plant trees,” Pedatella says of the presentation. “If you go to these schools, you’ll see trees we planted 12 years ago,” he adds, noting that the high schoolers he speaks to often says to him, “Mr. Bob, I remember when you showed us how to plant a tree.”
Pedatella says that spending time with students is important for the industry, and a give-back he looks forward to every year. “I show them what I became, and how landscaping isn’t just cutting lawns – there is a lot more to it,” he says.