Desert Green 2011 LogoDespite the down economy, the 15th Annual Desert Green conference held in October at Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall enjoyed strong attendance and sponsorship with more than 350 attendees.

Southwest Trees & Turf Professional of the Year was awarded to Robert (Bob) Morris, professor Emeritus with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Morris also consults and writes a horticulture column for the local newspaper.

The conference included an awards banquet, where several sponsoring organizations recognized outstanding contributions to the green industry. The Southern Nevada Arborist Group named Pete Duncombe as its Tree Care Trailblazer. Duncombe is the curator of the gardens at Las Vegas Springs Preserve.  The Bill Tomiyasu Memorial Award honored Lisa Ortega, urban forester with the city of Henderson, Nev. Ortega was recognized for her tireless efforts planting trees, educating the general public about tree care and volunteering efforts for several professional organizations. The Tomiyasu Award is considered the most prestigious green industry award in Southern Nevada.

The conference is sponsored by the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, Southern Nevada Golf Course Superintendents Association; Nevada Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects; University of Nevada Cooperative Extension; Southern Nevada Water Authority; Nevada Shade Tree Council; Southwest Trees & Turf and the Southern Nevada Arborists Group.

The Desert Green Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit that includes members from these groups on its board. The Foundation is dedicated to education for the green industry.   Desert Green XVI is slated for October 2012 in Las Vegas, Nev. For more information, visit

Lisa Ortega, Pete Duncombe & Bob Morris

Lisa Ortega, Pete Duncombe & Bob Morris