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International Master Gardener Conference is Green

Posted 3/16/2009

International Master Gardener Conference centerpieces

As green thumbs from around the world converge on Las Vegas for the International Master Gardeners Conference (IMGC) from March 22-26, the entire conference is GREEN themed!

"Green" has always been a way of life for most gardeners. Now, it is even more popular…and important to our economy and environment. Your IMGC is proud to have incorporated the "reduce, reuse, recycle" philosophy throughout the event. There is on-line information and registration and visitors are asked to please consider the environment before printing a page. Correspondence with conference guests is sent via e-mail. Recycle bins will be located throughout the event and cards in hotel rooms regarding sheets and towels will be used to help conserve our natural resources. Last, but not least, unique, "Second Time Around" centerpieces are used.

IMGC has taken the dedication to being "green" to heart and fully incorporated "green" principles into the decorating for the Second Time Around centerpieces. These handmade centerpieces are created entirely from used, donated and locally harvested materials. The centerpieces are intentionally designed to represent the two sides of Las Vegas - the natural Native Neon as well as Las Vegas’ famous glitzy neon signs.

The vases for the banquet centerpieces are glass jars rescued from the rubbish pile and decorated with scrap tissue paper. The shiny, colorful Las Vegas items are from local residents and establishments. The playing cards and dice are donated by local hotel casinos. The black mat beneath the arrangement is weed barrier "harvested" at the close of a gardening expo. The silver foil-saved gift wrap!

The plant materials in the arrangements are native plants harvested from our master gardeners own homes and from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Orchard. We want to share with you the fragrances of the Mojave Desert: rosemary, eucalyptus and our native creosote.

We are also fortunate to have partnered with Greener Vegas to repurpose and reuse many items-from other conferences-which might otherwise have gone into the waste-stream. We are proud to rescue many items (including foam core, badge holders, pens, recycle bags) and give them new life at our IMGC. The recycling bins used at this conference were courtesy of Greener Vegas.

The IMGC is sponsored by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and coordinated by Southern Nevada Master Gardeners, who have planned a four-day program that celebrates not only the brilliant neon of the Las Vegas Valley but also the bright and lush gardens they have nurtured from unforgiving soils Mojave Desert.

A number of sessions will focus on GREEN landscapes and wise use of water. Presenter Brad Lancaster, the author of the award-winning "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands, Volume 1: Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain Into Your Life" will discuss the eight principles of water harvesting and using greywater to nourish your soils and reduce water consumption. Landscape architect Jack Zunino will discuss the evolution of water-efficient landscapes.

Fore more information, please contact Ann Edmunds at 702-257-5587, e-mail edmundsa@unce.unr.edu or visit www.unce.unr.edu/imgc .

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