New Foothill College Horticultural Training Site Honors Gachinas

Jackie Gachina and Frank Niccoli at the dedication of Foothill College’s John Paul and H. Jaclyn Ishimaru Gachina Learning Center.

After noting that there is a big difference between a classroom environment and actually working in the field of horticulture, long-time CLCA member and college instructor Frank Niccoli led the February 21 dedication of a new certificate program and hands-on horticultural training site at Foothill College.

The site is named in honor of the late John Gachina and his wife Jaclyn Ishimaru Gachina, two long-time supporters of green industry education.

“The Gachina family has changed lives with their dedication to education and their belief in providing an atmosphere for learning,” Niccoli said in the dedication ceremony. “And so it shall be with this learning center.”

The Gachina family has a history of providing learning environments for those who want to learn and advance in life, Niccoli noted, and “that same spirit has also exists here at Foothill College, that spirit of transformative teaching for those who learn by doing, who like to get dirty, and for those who wear a day’s sweat with honor.”

The Gachina family, Jackie and Dominic Gachina and John Gachina’s sister, was part of the dedication, which was also attended by more than 80 CLCA members and Foothill College officials and horticulture students.

Wrapped around the Foothill College Environmental Horticulture building, the learning center covers more than two acres and includes “hands-on” field training stations for everything an aspiring green industry professional could need.

Niccoli and college officials gave “a huge thank you” to Christine Hawkins and Hunter Industries for their generous donation of controllers, valves and irrigation equipment.

View photo gallery of dedication ceremony >>