Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at the St. Charles Convention Center

2017 Schedule

The 2018 schedule will be posted in the Fall of 2018.

Scroll down for session descriptions.

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Session Descriptions


Inspiring Productivity: A Total Teamwork Approach -  Lessons Learned From Life's Journey (Larry DeWitt)

Whether you are the leader of a large company, manager of professional landscape crews, or an owner/operator of a small landscape service company, Larry DeWitt’s words of experience-based wisdom will enlighten your approach to inspiring productivity among your team. Effective coaching and teamwork continues to be the key ingredient for the Dewitt Company to experience positive on-going growth and success.

Water Management

Soils and Irrigation Scheduling (Matt Bruns)

Two-Wire Installation, Troubleshooting, and Diagnostics Class (Jon Miller)

Wifi Controller Products (Craig Pisarkiewicz)

 Drainage Calculation Class (Bill Rosner)

Sports Fields

Biostimulants for Ballfields (Erik Ervin)

A research overview of biostumulant ingredients and their effects on cool and warm-season turfgrasses during summer or winter seasons.
Erik Ervin Powerpoint Download

Improving Water Efficiency: Take the Million Gallon Challenge! (Brad Jakubowski)
Joint session with Golf track

Water efficiency is important no matter the source or method of use! This seminar challenges turf managers to conserve one million gallons or more throughout the course of a season by improving irrigation efficiency and by implementing various outdoor and indoor water saving practices throughout the entire facility. In addition to potentially reducing costs, saving one million gallons promotes environmental stewardship and enhances public relations with a water conscious public. Be a standout Sports Turf Manager; take on the Million Gallon Challenge today!

Making Better Weather-Based Management Decisions (Brad Jakubowski)

Weather is a critical component of a turf manager’s daily responsibilities. Turf managers can make better management decisions and provide consistent field conditions by better understanding weather patterns and concepts. This interactive seminar introduces fundamental weather concepts and provides turf managers with the tools to interpret daily weather reports, maps, and forecasts.

Bluemuda: Concept to Common Practice (Brian Winka)

For years, those of us who are fortunate or unfortunate to work in the transition zone, have dealt with the issues that come with this transitional area. We are fortunate because we can grow both warm and cool season turf grasses, but unfortunately neither one grows exceptionally well.  Sports turf managers in the transition zone deal with extreme weather conditions on both ends of the spectrum.  Traditional overseeding of bermuda fields with perennial ryegrass is costly, time consuming and damaging to the bermudagrass plants. I believe there is a better way for some of us to manage our high use facilities.


Disease Activity in 2017 - From Anthracnose to Large Patch on Zoysia (Lee Miller)

A mild August thankfully didn't make 2017 a banner year for disease activity, but there were a few standout diseases (particularly basal rot anthracnose) that stood out. This presentation will discuss the environmental factors that predicated these diseases and the management strategies for prevention in the future.

Biostimulants for Bentgrass (Erik Ervin)

A research overview of biostumulant ingredients and their effects on creeping bentgrass during heat and/or drought stress.
Erik Ervin Powerpoint Download

What's New in the Turf Herbicide Pipeline (Xi Xiong)

In the next couple of years, a couple of new herbicide active ingredients are going to enter the turf market. This presentation will introduce these two compounds to our turf professionals, based on experiments we have carried out at the University of Missouri. This presentation could be of interest to all turf professionals in different aspects of the industry.

Landscape Opportunities

New (and Underestimated) Plants for 2017-18 - the BEST of the BEST (Mike Rood, Anne McKinstry, Derek Schrof, Bob Glover, Guy Sternberg, Barry Ritter, and Bill Ruppert)

A rapid-fire series of presentations featuring the BEST of the BEST new, underutilized/underestimated plant selections for use in professionally designed and managed landscapes.  No wimps presented here – only plants that will thrive and endure the rigors of lower Midwest climate conditions!

Landscaping with Native Trees (Guy Sternberg)

Virtually all scientists agree that our climate is becoming increasingly unstable, even if a few still doubt the extent of the role our own species is playing in the process. How will this affect our most treasured and permanent landscape plants – our trees? Why should we be concerned, and what should we do? Learn about things such as the importance of species adaptability, provenance, and diversity. Consider some expected trends for our landscapes of the coming century, and come away better prepared for the uncertain future of your environment.

Planting in a Post Wild World REVISITED PART 2 – Creating Stunning Plant Communities that Stand the Test of Time (Claudia West)
Joint session with Landscape Architecture track

Plants are the foundation of healthy ecosystems and they bring beauty and joy to our lives. But great plants alone don't automatically create lasting ecological benefits in our gardens. Claudia West, ecological sales manager at North Creek Nurseries, premier wholesale perennial grower in Landenberg, Pennsylvania,  talks about spectacular perennials and grasses and how to use them in stable, layered, natural combinations that increase the ornamental, functional, and ecological value of your landscape. Enjoy and be inspired!

High Performance Landscape Design Washington University East Campus (Jeffrey Bruce)
Joint session with Landscape Architecture and Landscape Management tracks

Washington University in St. Louis has begun the largest capital project in the recent history encompassing 18 acres of the Danforth Campus, transforming the east end as a doorway to the future of Washington University. Understand how to successfully design high performance landscapes. Mr. Bruce working with lead landscape architect Michael Vergason, will reveal how they designed the high performance landscape profiles for the new Washington University East Campus Improvements in St. Louis.

Landscape Architecture and Design

Planting in a Post Wild World REVISITED – The Power of Urban Nature: Why Better Urban Ecosystems Create Better Lives (Claudia West)

Our cities need natural places and thriving vegetation more than ever before -- plants are essential to clean our air and water, provide a balance to our stressful lives, and increase biodiversity and habitat. However, urban landscapes challenge plant health with a difficult pallet of harsh site conditions and traditional planting methods. Join us as we explore how you can improve the health, beauty, diversity, and resilience of your urban neighborhood by applying plant community-based planting and management techniques. Let’s explore the wealth of native species that are naturally adapted to urban conditions and explore creative ways to increase biodiversity and life quality in our cities.

Community and School Gardens (Dean Gunderson)

Why you would (and might not want) a community or school garden in a project. Important design and community engagement do's and don'ts of implementing a community or school garden project. Some existing resources and models for maintaining community and school gardening

Landscape Management

Plant Communities at Lurie Garden that Maximize Ecological Impact (Laura Ekasetya)

Intermingled plantings in the New Perennial style can provide habitat and nourishment for local fauna through the seasons.  Selecting the right plants allows for easier maintenance.  Why force your plants to be together when it's much easier to select species that work well together?  Piet Oudolf's aesthetic brings plants together in a way that provides maximum diversity of species for a designed setting Supporting ecology in the face of climate change is worthy goal of any garden.

The Edible Landscape: Contemporary Variety Selection and Low-Input Management Practice (Matt Bunch)

As current horticulturist for the Giving Grove, and previously in the position of horticulturist for Kansas City’s Powell Garden’s Heartland Harvest Garden, a 12 acre edible landscape featuring over 2000 edible plant varieties, Matt will share a wealth of knowledge regarding edible fruit varieties with low-input management requirements.  Expand your knowledge of “plants with a purpose” to diversify the landscapes you design, install and manage.

Timely Topics for Landscape Managers (Carol Davit, Steve Crouch, and Yvonne Steingruby)

A rapid-speed series of updates regarding timely topics such as: alternatives to over-mulching the herbaceous border; updating low-voltage lighting with LED technology and; resources for identifying and managing invasive plants via