A Letter from Editor Helen M. Stone

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

-Eppie Lederer, aka Ann Landers

 Have you ever attended Desert Green? If you have, thank you! I’m hoping that you will agree that it’s one of the best education values for green industry professionals in the Southwest. Two days with four concurrent sessions, each day covering every discipline in the business for less than $200 is a great value.

We are gearing up for our 20th anniversary celebration on October 20-21 at Texas Station in North Las Vegas. Last year was our first in this beautiful new venue, and it’s just about a perfect fit. The meeting rooms are great (and the sleeping rooms for out-of-town guests are very nice at a rock-bottom price), the food is delicious and the central location and easy parking makes it a breeze for locals.

Our planning committee really went all-out this year to bring you the most exciting program possible. As well as some of our favorite returning speakers, we have some new faces (and great minds) joining us this year that will provide you with a new take on the way you do your job. The all-knowing “they” say that if you come away with one new valuable tip or technique from a conference, your money is well-spent. Well, be prepared to collect several at Desert Green!

When I think of how much has changed in 20 years, it’s mind-boggling. We were just getting used to the wonders of faxing stuff! The Internet was there, but we were all just learning about it… and Google wasn’t even invented yet! Listening to CDs in our cars was high-tech – digital music was still a few years away. Virtually no one had a cell phone. There was no wi-fi, and bluetooth wasn’t even a concept.

But there were many issues that we are still facing today. When’s the last time you saw a topped tree? Unfortunately, it was probably today. Still seeing water run down the gutter? Maybe not as much, but it sure still happens. Seen any desert pines planted in a three-by-three cutout in a parking lot lately? Yeah, I bet you have – or something close.

I must admit, I see such bad work out there I sometimes wonder if all of our efforts for the past 20 years have been a mere exercise in futility. But then again, perhaps from an objective view, maybe not. I don’t have any statistics at hand, but I would wager that our landscape water use in the Southwest has dropped substantially in the past two decades, while the quality of the designs and plant material has improved.

Desert Green has been a huge part of my life for the past 20 years. I hope that you will join me this year as I celebrate my last hurrah as conference coordinator. Although succession has not been finalized at press time, I can assure you that it will only get better from here.
On Thursday, October 21 at 4 PM we will host the Green Industry Mixer. Registered or not, I invite you to come and have a drink on me! We will have great food, a meet-and-greet with our sponsors and a chance to win some terrific prizes. It will be a great time to celebrate 20 Years of Desert Greening. Hope to see you there!