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Water conservation workshops set to begin Jan. 11 in Grapevine
By Adam Russell, Texas A&M
Jan 10, 2017
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GRAPEVINE – Texas A&M AgriLife will hold its 2017 workshops for Water Efficient Recognized Green Professionals starting Jan. 11 in Grapevine.

The five-day course will be from 8 a.m. to noon Jan. 11, Jan. 25, Feb. 8, Feb. 22 and March 8, and will cover a variety of topics related to water conservation and low-impact, eco-friendly landscaping, said Laura Miller, AgriLife Extension commercial horticulture agent, Tarrant County.

Cost for all five workshops is $75, which includes breakfast and all course materials. Seating is limited to 35 people.

The Jan. 11, Jan. 25, Feb. 8 and March 8 events will be held at the Grapevine Botanical Gardens, 411 Ball St. in Grapevine. The Feb. 22 event will be held at the Grapevine Community Activities Center, 1175 Municipal Way.

Registration is requested by Jan. 5.

Miller said attendees can choose classes based on schedules, topics and speakers but that all workshops must be attended to be recognized as a Save Tarrant Water Green Pro on Savetarrantwater.com, a water quality and conservation website initiated by the Tarrant Regional Water District.

“Water conservation and eco-friendly landscaping are important trends for urban areas,” Miller said. “Learning how to establish and maintain environmentally friendly and sustainable landscapes is a way for landscape businesses to market their services. The event is also a good opportunity for professionals to network and share ideas and information with each other.”

Dates, topics and speakers include:

  • Jan. 11: Water conservation and water-efficient landscapes

The course will help attendees gain a better understanding of North Texas water supplies, providers and why conservation is important and learn basic principles of water-efficient landscaping — Dean Minchillo, Tarrant Regional Water Conservation Manager, Fort Worth; Miller and Michael Mueller, M&M Irrigation and Illumination owner, Bedford.

  • Jan. 25: Native and adapted trees, shrubs and perennials – selection, care and maintenance

Course objectives focus on making attendees familiar with the most commonly used native and adapted plants that thrive in North Texas’ climate and ways to keep them performing at their best and crepe myrtles, one of the most used ornamental trees in the region – Dr. Mengmeng Gu, AgriLife Extension horticulturist, College Station, and Heather Dowell, parks manager, city of Colleyville. .

  • Feb. 8: All about turfgrass

Course objectives will focus on learning and understanding turfgrass varieties appropriate for North Texas and the selection, care, maintenance and management of these grasses – Dr. Casey Reynolds, AgriLife Extension statewide turfgrass specialist, College Station, and Rusty Walker, certified sports field manager, Grapevine.

  • Feb. 22: Ins and outs of low impact landscaping

Course objectives will explore low impact landscape design practices that protect water quality and increase sustainability in both residential and commercial settings – Dr. Fouad Jaber, AgriLife Extension integrated water resources management specialist, Dallas, and Randy Weston, Weston Gardens in Bloom Inc., Fort Worth.

  • March 8: Irrigation technology and scheduling

Course objectives will focus on proper irrigation and how it relates to plant growth and appearance, maintaining healthy landscapes through irrigation programming and scheduling and new technologies and how to apply them — Charles Swanson, AgriLife Extension landscape irrigation program specialist, College Station, and Deville Hubbard, landscape irrigation specialist, Greater Texas Landscapes, Plano.

For more information, visit www.savetarrantwater.com or contact Minchillo at dean.minchillo@trwd.com or 817-720-4368 or Miller at lmmiller@ag.tamu.edu or 817-884-1945.