HERNDON, Va. – The PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) recently honored Zachery Johnson, LIC, PLA, as its 2014 Outstanding Educator of the Year. Johnson is associate professor of Landscape Design and Contracting and the Landscape Business programs at Colorado State University (CSU). He received the honor March 23, at PLANET’s Student Career Days event, hosted by CSU in Fort Collins, Colo.

Johnson earned a bachelor’s in Environmental Horticulture from CSU and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Colorado at Denver. He brings more than two decades of experience in the landscape industry to the Landscape Design & Contracting and Landscape Business programs at CSU. His career has provided opportunities to work in the design, construction, and management of landscapes and gardens. His expertise is in residential and small-scale commercial design, emphasizing sustainable construction techniques.

Johnson, a former Student Career Days participant, is dedicated to helping his students and is committed to their success as well as the success of PLANET. He is a member of PLANET’s Design/Build/Installation Specialty Group and was recently elected to the PLANET board. In addition to his responsibilities at CSU, Johnson also owns Green Ink Designs, LLC.  He is also an at-large director for the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and participates on numerous committees.  Johnson is a licensed landscape architect and holds multiple industry certifications.

"I’m honored to receive this award, especially with so many other great educators in our profession," said Johnson. "It’s always nice to be recognized for your work, particularly by peers, students, and industry members."

The Outstanding Educator of the Year Award, developed by the PLANET AEF in cooperation with the PLANET Accreditation Committee, recognizes professors who have made significant contributions to landscape industry education. Educators nominated for this award have devoted time, energy, and enthusiasm to their programs and to the education of future leaders of the industry.