Want to know a surefire way to eliminate weeds? Invite a few hundred people in the roadside vegetation industry and talk about nothing but flowers, shrubbery and trees. The 16th Annual NRVMA Conference will be held in Louisville, Ky., at the Galt House Hotel Sept. 19-22. Following the theme “Beautiful Roadsides Are Safer,” the three-day event will feature seven general sessions, which will include the presentation of the National Roadside Excellence Award Winners.
Monday, Sept. 20
The first seeds will be thrown during a kickoff luncheon starting at noon. Charles Tomlinson, vice president and program chairperson, will give a program review, and there will be regional sessions from 2 to 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 21
Plaques will be served during the headliner of the entire show—an awards luncheon. After a presidential address by Paul Northcutt of the Texas DOT and a speech on The National Roadside Excellence Contest by Rick Bayhi, Monsanto, St. Gabriel, La., there will be a presentation of plaques to the winners, which will be directed by Northcutt. Randall A. Estes from the Alabama DOT will conclude the luncheon by presenting the NRVMA Awards.
There will be four general sessions on Tuesday. The first topic will be “Vegetation Management” from 8 to 10 a.m. “Brush Control”, “Rare Plants in Utility Corridors”, “Fate Of Pesticides in the Environment” and “The Arborists Perspective” are the scheduled presentations. General Session 2: “Beautifying Roadsides” will follow from 10:30 a.m. to noon and will include talks on “Turf for Roadsides”, “Wildflower Establishment & Management” and “Protecting Your Planting Investment”. Session 3, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., will have presentations from The National Roadside Excellence winners before the final session, “Natural vs. Groomed Roadsides” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The last three segments will be “Merging of the Minds”, “Developing the Urban Landscape” and “Iowa’s Wild ISTEA Party”.
Wednesday, Sept. 22
The entire conference will probably stay away from the subject of picking flowers, but picking your brain isn’t out of the question. Two of the final three sessions will be more of an exchange in knowledge. General Session 5, which will take place from 9 to 10:30 a.m., is titled “The Cutting Edge” and carries topics “Computers and Roadsides-Operations & Budgets”, “GIS and Roadsides” and “www.nrvma.org”. The next forum will be “The Pursuit of Knowledge” and runs from 11 a.m. to noon. “University Research Updates” will be the sole area of discussion. The final session, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., is listed as an “Information Exchange” and is broken down into three session summaries covering the western, northern and southern regions.