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Environmental Horticulture & Design

Faculty & Staff Directory

Frank Niccoli

Program Director, Environmental Horticulture

Biological and Health Sciences Division



Foothill campus
Office Hours:
One hour before each class


varies each quarter. call for info.


Writing and research.


Frank Niccoli has been a gardener for over 60 years. He was seven when his grandmother taught him the magic in seeds.

Frank has a degree in horticulture having studied at the Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and at the College of San Mateo. Frank also has a degree in Business Psychology from The University of San Francisco.

He is the past president of the founding chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association. He was voted Member of the Year by his peers in 2001 and in 2004.

He served 8 years as Director of Resource Management for the California Landscape Contractors Association. Under his leadership, CLCA has developed a Water Management program that is currently being used by over 800 landscape contractors in California. He was the state president in 2013 and is currently the chair for the rewrite of the Landscape Standards book and the Landscape Data Manual.

He is a member of and had served for 3 years on the Board for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

His company, The Village Gardener, has won 3 Sweepstakes Awards (best garden out of all entries) in addition to winning numerous First place and Achievement Awards for Construction and Maintenance.

He has built 4 gardens at the prestigious San Francisco Flower and Garden Show winning 2 gold medals, 2 silver medals and a bronze.

He served as the Chairman for the Environmental Sustainability Task Force for the City of Foster City establishing 59 recommendations to the City of Foster City to establish a sustainability policy.

In 2012 he was name Water Champion of the Year by Sustainable Silicon Valley for his work in water conservation.

He has written the curriculum and teaches numerous classes at Foothill College. He teaches Turf Management, Ground Cover and Vines, Shrubs, California Natives, Landscape Lighting, Integrated Pest Management, Landscape Business, Sustainable Integrated Pest Management, and Grasses, Bamboos, and Palms, and Veggie Gardens. He has taught at Foothill since 1999. He began teaching at Merritt College in 2014. He teaches Integrated Pest Management, Insects, and Landscape Business at Merritt.

The Oprah Winfrey Network selected him as one of the five across the United States whose small acts have a big impact on the sustainable health of the environment. He appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Network, and his appearance resulted in calls for work from Maine to California.

He is an environmental educator and gives seminars for the Pesticide Applicators Professional Association, Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency, Common Ground, Gamble Garden, Los Altos Garden Club, Woodside-Atherton Garden Club, the Landscape Industry Show, the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, San Jose Environmental Services, and the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

He teaches from the perspective of a contractor who had been in the business for 40+ years and with a passion for sustainability and environmental stewardship.

He was a researcher with Fairfield Osborn Preserve and Galbreath Preserve attached to Sonoma State University.

His blog contains recipes (fork), gardening (trowel) and poetry (and).

He is a published poet and a black hat chef.

Personal Quote:

Never trust a smiling goldfish!

Last update: 2021-12-08
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