A Coastal Bend Landscape Conference has been planned for 8:00 a.m.-3:45 p.m. February 25th at the Del Mar Economic Development Center in Corpus Christi at 8 am. The program which is sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Del Mar Economic Development Center, Corpus Christi Storm Water Department, and the Nueces County Leadership Advisory Board will feature many topics of interest to professional landscapers, as well as, homeowners. The focus of this year’s program is on environmental stewardship and water resource management. Highlights of the program include discussions on Xeriscape by Joanne Salge, Nueces County Master Gardener and Protection our Receiving Waters by Danielle Converse, Environmental Services Superintendent for the City of Corpus Christi.

Reducing the overall water requirements of the landscape is best achieved by initially designing the landscapes for water conservation, including efficient irrigation systems, proper watering and the use of drought tolerant plants where appropriate this total approach to landscaping is known as Xeriscaping and it need not be all cactus and rocks. A Xeriscape landscape has plenty of room for lush turf grass and shade trees. There are seven water saving principals of Xeriscape landscaping: planning and design, soil analysis and preparation, practical turf areas, appropriate plant selection, efficient irrigation, use of mulches, and appropriate maintenance. Salge will address each of these practices and ways of incorporating these seven principles into existing landscapes in order to help preserve our most precious natural resource – water.

Protection of this limited resource is crucial. Receiving waters are a river, ocean, stream, or other watercourse into which wastewater or treated effluent is discharged. Locally this affects the water quality in the bays and estuaries that surround the city, which are important for recreational use as well as aquatic life. Converse will discuss local efforts to protect these waters. Her presentation will be supported by discussions on Soil Nutrient Management, Integrated Pest Management and Drift Minimization for Homeowners. Brent Clayton, Water Resource Planner with the City of Corpus Christi, will conclude the program by giving participants and update on City Water Restrictions and critical triggers which prompt their enactment.

Those that participate in the conference will be able to receive 5 Texas Department of Agriculture CEUs (1L&R, 1IPM, and 3 Gen). The participation fee of $30 will be charged to attendees and includes a catered lunch. Seating is limited, so attendees are asked to RSVP to the AgriLife Extension office in Nueces County at 361-767-5217 by February 18th.

Individuals with disabilities, who require an auxiliary aid, service or accommodation in order to participate in any of the mentioned activities, are encouraged to contact the County Extension Office eight days before all programs for assistance. Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.