A Message from Editor Helen M. Stone

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

— Alvin Toffler

Here we go again! Desert Green is on its 19th year on October 22-23 and our program and venue are one of the best ever!

How fast the time goes by! When the conference began in 1997, Las Vegas and the Southwest were enjoying a boom, and the landscape industry reflected that. Steve Wynn had ushered in an era where the plants, flowers and water features were just as spectacular as the architecture and bright lights.

However, water was already becoming an issue. By the next year, the Water Authority passed turf restrictions that had the green industry shaking its collective head in disbelief.

But we adapted. It was interesting (although a bit heartbreaking) to seeing California come to the stunning revelation this summer that if you stopped watering your turf, your trees would suffer. And maybe even die! Been there, done that…

This year’s conference is all about adaptation and flexibility. The conference makes it clear that we can still have a sustainable “green” industry, even in the desert.

Back this year is one of my favorite sessions, “Plants, Plants, Plants.” I’m guessing that if you quizzed most landscape professionals, at least three-quarters would confess that they are in the business because of an inherent love of plants, be it trees, flowers or turf. This session highlights some of the best choices we can make presented by some of the best brains in the business.

As usual, we will be offering a wealth of continuing education units (CEUs) for just about every certification available. Golf, irrigation, pesticides, arboriculture…we have it! The year is coming to an end and if you need credits, this is the place to get them.

We are also really excited about our new venue, Texas Station. Several years ago, we looked at booking Desert Green there, but try as we did, the dates and cost just didn’t work out. One of the good things about the squishy economy is that this time we were welcomed with open arms and the staff bent over backwards to accommodate us. And our out-of-town attendees will be able happy to be able to stay the same place that the conference is held – I know I am!

Although as I write this the conference is a month away, our registration numbers are reflecting a recovering economy. There are a couple of municipalities who are sending multiple attendees…even entire landscape staffs! This is great news and will also result in cost and water savings for those cities. You know the old line…”if you think education is expensive, try ignorance!”

So if you haven’t done so already, please visit www.desert-green.org, check out the program and register. It’s going to be one of the best ever. Hope to see you there!