WNLA Winter Workshop to present two educational tracks

The Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association’s biggest educational event just got bigger. For the first time ever, attendees will have the opportunity to hear twice as many experts, as topics focusing on nursery issues and lawn and landscape issues will be presented concurrently at the 2015 Winter Workshop. The timing of presentations will allow attendees to travel between the two tracks of speakers. It all takes place at the Olympia Resort and Conference Center in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin on Thursday, February 19, 2015.

Speakers for both tracks are varied and exciting. Winter Workshop favorite Dave Wanninger starts things off for the Nursery track, speaking about his favorite plants. As Horticulturist in Charge at Boerner Botanical Gardens, Dave knows plants! He’ll discuss the newest cultivars and returning favorites in his presentation. Elizabeth Meils of Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will be joined by JoAnn Cruse of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for a comprehensive Regulatory Pest Update. Crazy Worm, EAB, Lily Leaf Beetle, Gypsy Moths…they’ll talk about all of these and more.

Dave Wanninger returns to introduce you to the candidates for Plant of the Year, presenting the WNLA Plant of the Year committee’s top contestants. To prepare for the Winter Workshop vote, the committee reviews a collection of fantastic albeit underused plants made up of suggestions from members of both the committee and WNLA. They narrow down the list to a few plants in each of the two categories– Perennial Plant of the Year and Woody Ornamental Plant of the Year–and at Winter Workshop, these plants are reviewed and then attendees are asked to vote for their favorites. The plants with the most votes in each category will be the 2017 Plant of the Year selections, allowing for a two-year window to give nurseries plenty of time to stock the plants. The winners are announced by the end of the Workshop.

You’ll be introduced to the sponsors of Winter Workshop during the course of the day and have a chance to visit table top displays provided by the sponsors. A WNLA General Membership meeting will take place following a substantial lunch and then the afternoon presentations follow. The Nursery track welcomes noted author, plantsman, and designer Roy Diblik. He’s the co-owner of the gorgeous Northwind Perennial Farm where his novel approach to gardening is on glorious display. His work also graces Lurie Garden in Millennium Park in Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago. Learn about plant communities from this trailblazing original.

The afternoon’s offerings on the Nursery track also includes the Nursery Spotlight, this year focused on McKay Nursery Company—an employee-owned nursery that’s been in business since 1897 in Waterloo, Wisconsin.

On the Lawn & Landscape track, attendees will hear from Mark McCloskey of the DATCP outlining the regulatory requirements for commercial pesticide applications to the landscape. If you want to stay in compliance (and who doesn’t), you’ll want to hear this presentation. Next, Nathan Fuelleman of County Materials talks Permeable Pavers—from design and installation to benefits, maintenance, and more. This course has been approved for one credit hour for AIA/CES, LA/CES, and ICPI.

After lunch, Dr. Chris Williamson, a UW Extension research entomologist, gets into the turf to acquaint you with pests in the landscape. Dr. Williamson’s thorough examinations of the pests, the pesticides, and the landscape are full of vital information that you won’t want to be without.

Also, Beth Duschack of Dow AgroSciences will impart her extensive knowledge on chemicals in the landscape—another subject of vital importance to lawn and landscape professionals.

Finally, all attendees are included in the Gadget/New Idea Spotlight, an informal opportunity at which attendees share their best gadget or time-saving ideas with the group. Those who share their discoveries will receive extra raffle tickets as a thank you. The drawing for prize winners of the free raffle will close the day’s events at 3:30 pm.

It is the Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association’s largest educational event of the year and a favorite of many attendees. It’s informal, informative, and affordable, plus it has been approved for PLANET Landscape Industry Certified recertification at 1 CEU per hour of instruction attended.

Mark your calendar for the upcoming 2015 Winter Workshop on Thursday, February 19th. To register, go to www.wgif.net and then to the WNLA page or call (414) 529-4705.