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Award-winning technicians

Abbotsford, B.C. – Two horticulture students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) took home gold Wednesday at the Skills Canada British Columbia provincial competition.

Students Sarah Pucek and Richard Blackwell, both Langley residents, created a first-prize garden installation in six hours for an audience of over 8,000 high school students, industry representatives and public attendees at the Abbotsford TRADEX.

Silver medals were awarded to fourth-year KPU apprenticeship students Dillon Mennie and Mori Okada. The challenge tested the landscaping and installation skills of both teams, who had to build and lay out a garden, from the ground up.

“The Skills competition provides our landscape horticulture students with an opportunity to demonstrate skills and knowledge gained from the classroom and the worksite in a collegial competitive environment. A Skills competition podium finish is a culmination of hard work, collaboration, skill and determination. Congratulations on a job well done to Sarah, Richard, Dillon and Mori,” said PJ Burns, KPU landscape horticulture instructor.

Pucek and Blackwell will head to Saskatoon for the Skills Canada national competition May 27-30.

For more about SkillsBC, visit

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