PGMS Visits San Antonio

PGMS Summer Conference header

PGMS spent some quality time this summer in the historically rich city of San Antonio!

Relive the journey:Click Me13458690_10153713849501235_2249856569595297832_o3 generations of PGMS Leadership: John Burns, CGM, PGMS Past President, John Doiron, Current President, Marion Bolick, CGM, President-Elect.

Two Days of Education, Networking & Exclusive Tours Highlight the
2016 PGMS School of Grounds Management Summer Conference!

PGMS and over one hundred attendees enjoyed the hospitality of San Antonio, Texas, June 6-7 for a two day conference. Hosted by the PGMS Texas Branch, the 2016 Summer Conference featured multiple speaker sessions, exclusive tours, and the opportunity to network with industry leading professionals and vendors.

Day one began bright and early at Trinity University, where attendees mingled with vendors to see the latest and greatest in green industry offerings. The morning speaker session kicked off with the exuberant and knowledgeable Mike Mason, president and CEO of Weathermatic, who presented “Smart Irrigation Technology.” After a short break, Dr. Tom Smiley from Bartlett Tree Expert Company provided the audience with a in depth look of “Preserving Trees Near Construction” which detailed the recent research on tree root cutting and stability as it pertains to tree risk.

Prior to lunch, attendees had a behind the scenes tour of Trinity University, host to the first day of the conference. Blessed with beautiful weather and a great tour guide, Mike Schweitzer, director of facilities services at Trinity University, provided attendees with information on sustainability efforts, developing and implementation of their “Grand Plan” and the unique challenges faced, such as tree trimming off quarry walls. The tour concluded with a hearty lunch prior to the final speaker session of the day by Jo Mascorro, M.Ed., who kept attendees enthralled with her presentation about “Effective Communication Practices in the Workplace” highlighting the T.E.A.C.H (Technology, Expectations, Anticipation, Clarify, Habits) practices.

The San Antonio Botanical Gardens was the final tour location of the day, where PGMS met with Director of Programs Cindy Klemmer, Ph.D. and Executive Director Bob Brackman, who discussed their relationship with the City of San Antonio and ongoing construction projects before attendees had time to explore the Gardens. Highlights of this self-guided tour included the Texas Native Trail Walk, the Lucile Halsell Conservatory, and the Northrup Tropical Room. The first day of the conference wrapped up with a reception back at the hotel prior to attendees having a night on their own to enjoy the San Antonio River Walk.

The morning of the second and final day started at the hotel, where attendees were treated to multiple speaker sessions. The first of three talks provided an in depth look at the development of the River Walk and the expanded areas toward the missions and the museums. Justin Krobot, horticulturist, Kristen Hansen, CPRP, Watershed & Parks Department manager and Tommy Mitchell, operations superintendent discussed their relationship with both the San Antonio River Authority and City of San Antonio and detailed the series of challenges they face following large storms which not only cause the river to overflow its banks but also produces large quantities of trash that crews must work quickly and efficiently to remove. Additionally, they discussed the Mission Reach project that was restoring over 300 acres of Riparian Woodland. This project entailed planting over 20,000 young trees and shrubs in addition to native grasses. Juan Guerra from the City of San Antonio, discussed his responsibility as the senior horticulturalist for the section of the River Walk that has millions of visitors annually and the inclusion on non-native species along the river. The morning wrapped up with a brief overview by Mike Mason about Weathermatic’s industry involvement and their Save Water | Give Life program, which donates part of their revenue to developing water wells in developing countries.

Attendees were then treated to a River Walk tour by boat! Rio San Antonio Cruises tour guides provided historical, horticultural, and other interesting facts about the Riverwalk which kept attendees informed and entertained. The Riverwalk features a variety of trees along its banks, including Cypress, Palm and Pecan along with native and non-native annuals and perennials. Following lunch, PGMS toured the site of the Old Pearl Brewery, which has underwent a large renovation in 2009 which included drought-resistant Xeriscaping, solar installation, and the property boasts over 600 trees which include oaks, sycamores, and elms. San Antonio Recap continued from page 5 As PGMS was in San Antonio, no conference would be complete without a tour of the Alamo. Thank you to Alamo conservator Pamela Jary Rosser, PA AIC and Director of Facilities Patrick Caffey for taking the time to walk attendees around the property and discuss the challenges faced with maintaining a heavily visited area. Attendees also had the opportunity to see a century old Live Oak, whose branches extend over fifty feet long and boasts a base of over twelve feet in circumference.

The conference concluded with a visit to Hemisfair Park, home of the 1968 World’s Fair, (themed the “Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas”) which featured 22 historic properties and large grass areas shaded by large oak trees. Sandy Jenkins discussed the recent and ongoing construction projects to the park, including the Yanaguana Garden, Civic Park Construction, and pedestrian/bicyclist trails, all shaded by a dense tree canopy.

Attendees were treated to exclusive tours:

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Trinity University San Antonio Botanical Gardens
The Alamo Riverwalk

As always, PGMS provided top-notch education sessions featuring industry leading professionals that were not to be missed!

13346202_10153697853826235_5132104554924579868_o“Preserving Trees Near Construction” by Tom Smiley, Ph.D

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Relive the journey:Click Me Interested in exhibiting at the 2017 Summer Conference? Contact PGMS at

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