About PEP

Advance your career

Help Reimagine Southern California Landscapes

The Theodore Payne Foundation Professional Education Portal (PEP) provides the Southern California landscape industry with a hub for information sharing and learning about native plant horticulture. Offerings include the Native Plant Landscaper Certification Program (CNPLC,) advanced educational offerings, informational resources, job postings and community forums. As the landscape industry shifts towards a new paradigm where sustainability and environmentalism takes center stage, we hope you will join this community and work collectively to advance a new vision for our region’s landscapes.

PEP is administered by the Theodore Payne Foundation, with support from native plant experts across the state. Enrollment in PEP is limited to landscape industry professionals, (or those working towards a career in the industry) who live and work in Southern California. It is free to join this group. Once enrolled, users will gain access to online resources, and be able to enroll in classes. Depending on funding, we may offer subsidized classes for individuals who meet certain criteria.

The certifications, courses and other offerings in PEP can set your business apart and build career skills. We hope you’ll join and help usher in a new era for the Southern California landscape industry. 

  • Available in English and Spanish
  • Broaden your client base
  • Gain a competitive edge
  • Build professional credibility
  • Broaden your client base
  • Increase profits
  • Respond to growing consumer demand
  • Enter the specialist/boutique market
  • Classes and events
  • Job board
  • Professional forums for advice
  • Downloadable resources

Theodore Payne Foundation inspires and educates Southern Californians about the beauty and ecological benefits of California native plant landscapes

A NATIVE PLANT LEGACY

About TPF

The Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants (TPF), established in 1960, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the understanding, preservation and horticultural use of California native plants. Our headquarters are located on 22 acres of canyon land in the Sun Valley neighborhood of Los Angeles, in the northeast corner of the San Fernando Valley. Our full-service native plant nursery, seed and book store, art gallery, demonstration gardens and hiking trails are open to the public year-round. We offer classes for adults and families, and host offsite educational outreach events throughout greater Los Angeles.

CONNECT WITH THE BEST

Job Board

Whether you are looking for full time positions with landscape companies or one time garden projects, finding a skilled landscape professional with native plant knowledge can be difficult. The PEP Job Board is intended to help make it easier to hire skilled landscapers with a passion for native plants, and to find jobs with companies and clients who are committed to ecological and sustainable practices.

CROWD SOURCED ANSWERS

Community Forum

Native plant landscaping can present unique challenges, but there are many ways to achieve success. Connect with other professionals to share your expertise and learn directly from your peers and exchange knowledge to collectively improve outcomes with native plant landscapes in Southern California.   

STAY IN TOUCH

PEP Blog

Our quarterly blog features news and updates on trends and happenings in the Southern California native plant landscape industry.

Our Teachers

Carol Bornstein

Carol Bornstein

Horticulturist, CNPLC English Instructor
Alejandro Lemus

Alejandro Lemus

Assistance Sales Manager-TPF, CNPLC Spanish Instructor
Tim Becker

Tim Becker

Director of Horticulture-TPF, CNPLC Program Director
Katherine Pakradouni

Katherine Pakradouni

Horticulturist, CNPLC English Instructor
Erik Blank

Erik Blank

Nursery Sales Associate-TPF, CNPLC English Language Instructor
Emerson Funes

Emerson Funes

Horticulturist, CNPLC Spanish Language Instructor
Brenda Kyle

Brenda Kyle

Community Engagement Coordinator-TPF, CNPLC Coordinator
Claire Acosta

Claire Acosta

Horticulturist, CNPLC English Instructor