Water Conservation Subject of 2008 Gardening Conference - September 3, 2008
Jeff Schalau, Associate Agent, Agriculture & Natural Resources
University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Yavapai County

The 8th Annual Arizona Highlands Garden Conference will be held at the Prescott Resort on October 13 and 14, 2008. This educational conference rotates each year between four northern Arizona counties and is organized and presented by University of Arizona Master Gardener volunteers. The conference theme is “Plant Smart – Water Wise for Our Future”. The issue of landscape water conservation is a top priority in Yavapai County and this conference will strive to present some water conservation strategies as well as other environmentally-responsible gardening concepts.

The first Arizona Highlands Garden Conference (AHGC) was held at Tonto Natural Bridge in 2000. In 2001, it was held in Prescott at Chapel Rock Conference Center. The next time it was hosted in Yavapai County was in 2004 at Cliff Castle Conference Center. The AHGC keeps getting better each year and the Yavapai County Master Gardeners have been planning and organizing the conference since November 2007. The 2008 AHGC planning committee is chaired by Jeannette Teets of Camp Verde with the help of many others.

Opening the Monday October 13 sessions are keynote speakers Trevor Hill, President and CEO of Global Water LLC, and Scott Calhoun, freelance writer and owner of Zonagardens. Trevor is presenting on Arizona’s Water Issues and discussing some potential solutions. Scott will also present: Junque Yards: Gardening with Found Objects which showcases his thoughts on using recycled materials to create unique landscapes.

On Tuesday October 14, keynote speakers are Mike Crimmins, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Climate Specialist, and Chris Wiesenger, President and Owner of Southern Bulb Company in Tyler, Texas. Mike Crimmins is no stranger to Yavapai County where he has been involved in drought preparedness and planning. Mike will speak on the topic of “Water and Climate Change”. Chris’ specialty is collecting heirloom and rare flower bulbs that thrive in warm climates. He will present “Southern Bulbs: Perennial Flower Bulbs for Southern Climates”.

Special workshops will be offered by Barnabas Kane, landscape architect and Principle of TBKA Landscape Architecture, and Linda Lockhart, an Alaska gardener and photographer. Barnabas will be presenting a two-hour workshop on “Rainwater Harvesting as Part of Irrigation Management” and Linda will present a two-hour workshop on “Up Close & Digital: Garden Photography” (this workshop is limited to 24 registrants).

After lunch, the Arizona Highlands Garden Conference will feature multiple “break-out” sessions that attendees can choose from. Topics include: xeriscaping, origins of plant botanical names, wildlife and bird habitats, rainwater harvesting, building soil fertility with legumes, feng shui gardening, new plants for high elevations, wildflowers and much more. Presenters are all highly respected authorities on their subject matter and there will be lots of time for interaction and networking during the conference.

Registration for the two-day conference is $95 (if received by September 8). The registration includes continental breakfast and lunch each day, conference notebooks, welcome goodie bags, and door prizes. Rooms are available at the Prescott Resort starting at $99/night (single/double occupancy). For more information, visit our web site at cals.arizona.edu/yavapai/ or call 928-445-6590 for more information. The Conference is limited to 150 registrants and the complete agenda is posted on the web site.

Many local, regional, and national sponsors have generously contributed to help cover conference costs. You may view a list of sponsors on the web site. There will also be several exhibitors on site for the conference. Come and join us for an educational and enjoyable gardening conference!

The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension has publications and information on gardening and pest control. If you have other gardening questions, call the Master Gardener line in the Cottonwood office at 646-9113 ext. 14 or E-mail us at cottonwoodmg@yahoo.com and be sure to include your address and phone number. Find past Backyard Gardener columns or submit column ideas at the Backyard Gardener web site: http://cals.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hort/byg/.

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Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr. #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Last Updated: July 14, 2009
Content Questions/Comments: jschalau@ag.arizona.edu
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