Our environment is evolving. Over the past few years we’ve seen hurricanes, snow storms, floods, heat, mud slides, and fires in North Carolina, and it is affecting our landscape. Join us July 21, 2022 to learn how experts are working to use and adjust soil, trees, plants, and water to lessen the effects of the environment and help the landscape.
8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Registration
8:20 – 8:30 a.m. Introduction and Welcome – Jonathan Richardson, NCGIC President
8:30 a.m. Education Begins
8:30 – 9:20 a.m. “What Is Green Infrastructure and Why Do We Care?”
Julieta Sherk, Professor NCSU Horticultural Science
Often required in urban areas, green infrastructure contributes to the reduction of runoff from stormwater that causes flooding, which damages property, gray infrastructure and the environment. The design of stormwater control methods (SCM) not only mitigates runoff but also offers an opportunity to implement beautiful spaces that simultaneously improve people’s health and wellbeing, support wildlife and restore the environment. We will explore why green infrastructure design matters.
9:20 – 10:10 a.m. “Weed Management in Urban Green Infrastructure”
Dr. Joe Neal, Professor NCSU Horticultural Science
Green infrastructure installations are both functional and aesthetic components of the landscape. Unless routinely managed, green infrastructure installations will be overrun with weedy vegetation. Weed management options for bioretention areas, green roofs and drainage areas are limited by the fact that they are designed to capture and direct stormwater. In this presentation Dr. Neal will discuss the results of recent research on the common weeds of bioretention areas and green roofs, common management practices, and strategies to control weeds in these special landscape features.
10:10 – 10:30 a.m. BREAK and Visit with Sponsors
10:30 – 11:20 a.m. “Turfgrass Selection and Water Management for a More Sustainable Turf”
Dr. Grady Miller, Professor NCSU Crop Science
Have you ever quantified the water use differences in tall fescue versus bermudagrass? Or, calculated exactly how much water is required to maintain acceptable turfgrass quality during a North Carolina summer? Turfgrass selection and water management are two primary components of a more sustainable turfgrass system. Since sustainability is a direction rather than a destination, it is important that we periodically review current research and management principles related to sustainable turfgrass management. This talk will review ongoing research at NC State related to developing drought-tolerant turfgrasses, minimum water requirements, and irrigation programming.
11:20 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. “Bioretention Construction – Best Practices for Proven Success”
John Irby, Technical Sales Consultant, Luck Ecosystems
Bioretention basins provide numerous benefits when installed properly; however, there are specific steps that need to take place for successful construction. Project owners, engineers, and contractors do not always give bioretention construction the attention it deserves to reduce errors and avoid common pitfalls. Based on more than 15 years of experience providing bioretention soil media in the mid-Atlantic region, this presentation will review the major components of bioretention construction, what pitfalls to avoid, and helpful tools and tips to use during construction to ensure project success.
12:10 – 1:00 p.m. LUNCH (included for all participants)
1:00 – 1:50 p.m. “Green Infrastructure Maintenance Issues’: the basic maintenance needs and how to keep them working well”
Mitch Woodward, Area Specialized Agent- Watersheds and Water Quality, NCSU Bio and Ag Engineering
Communities across North Carolina must manage rainfall that runs off roads, streets, and parking lots. This runoff is called stormwater. To manage stormwater, many treatment devices, called SCMs, have been built. These devices, generally known as green infrastructure, include wet retention ponds, bioretention areas, swales, stormwater wetlands, permeable pavement, rainwater harvesting systems, proprietary devices, and level spreaders. Many communities across North Carolina are now requiring annual inspection, and if called for, maintenance of SCMs. SCMs are not managed as standard landscape features, as they are water quality treatment devices, and specialized training is needed.
1:50 – 2:40 p.m. “Irrigation Done Right to Save Water and Sustain Healthy Plant Growth”
Brad Comer, Hunter Industries
This course will discuss irrigation techniques for healthy plant growth and longevity through efficient programming and application of water use. The goal is to provide the plant source with its water needs, prevent runoff, and water waste. Smart control systems help take the guesswork out, but are we using them to their fullest capacity?
2:40 – 3:00 p.m. BREAK and Visit with Sponsors
3:00 – 3:50 p.m. “Getting to the Dirt of the Matter- Healthy soils for healthy plants while protecting water quality”
Dr. Barbara Fair, Associate Professor NCSU Horticultural Science
In urban areas, much of the water that comes from precipitation ends up in the gray infrastructure or sewer systems. In order to improve infiltration and decrease the pressure on these systems, we need to create landscapes that infiltrate water. This process starts with the soil. This presentation will detail how to build healthy soils that will not only improve growing conditions for plants, but will help create longer-lived landscapes that provide countless economic, environmental and social benefits.
3:50 – 4:50 p.m. Keynote: “The Role of Green Infrastructure (Stormwater BMPs) in North Carolina’s Future”
Dr. Bill Hunt, Professor NCSU Bio and Ag Engineering
4:50 – 5:00 p.m. Wrap Up and Thank You!