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New England GROWS buzzes with fast-paced learning on the expo floor

Learning doesnʼt stay in the lecture halls at New England GROWS. As thousands of pre-registered attendees know, hands-on skills and practical knowledge are essential to successful landscape, lawn care, arboriculture, and nursery management. Throughout the show – December 2 – 4, 2015 – the GROWS expo floor at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center will buzz with opportunities to gain valuable skills that can be applied in the field.

The Common Ground stage will host Sprint Sessions, each of which tackles a specific topic in 15-minute, innovative talks led by Extension personnel, leading suppliers and other experts. Among the topics are:

  • Use of Native Species Along the Roadsides in New England
  • Transitioning Container Grown Plants to the Landscape
  • Southern Pine Beetle: A Southern Pest Moves North
  • Host Plants for Butterflies
  • How to Balance Pest Control with Preserving Pollinator Habitat
  • Invasive Plants: Be on the Lookout for These New Invaders
  • Soil Organic Matter and Nutrient Cycling
  • Using Peonies in the Landscape to Conserve Tiphia Parasitoids of White Grubs
  • Managing Emerald Ash Borer in the Landscape
  • Choosing the Right Grass for the Right Place
  • Winter Moth Monitoring and Control
  • How to Amend Soil pH of Sandy vs. Clay Soils

For hands-on learning, attendees can head to Arena East, which will host popular chainsaw safety seminars, demonstrations and skill-developing competitions, led by Ken Palmer and the ArborMaster Training team. His focus will be on the back cut, with an emphasis on safety and all elements of the saw.

In Arena West, Bill Gardocki will tackle a variety of hardscaping topics in 45-minute sessions that range from laying permeable pavers to constructing pillars and walls, installing lighting, sealing and cleaning, and choosing the best tools of the trade. Back by popular demand, a team of University of New Hampshire students will assist Bill in the Live Patio Build.

GROWSʼ four founding partner organization and Monrovia will challenge show attendees to test their plant knowledge in a challenging Plant ID contest. Considering the expertise of GROWS attendees, the competition will be fierce!

This year more than 400 exhibiting firms will fill the show floor with their latest innovations, technology, and industry-tested equipment. Many exhibitors will offer GROWS-only show specials including discounts on plants, soil amendments, water features, lighting, equipment, hardscape materials, tools and software–to name just a few.

New England GROWS is more than a conference; itʼs also a network of organizations. More than 30 trade associations, government agencies, botanical garden and other organizations are GROWS Network Members. During the show, attendees are invited to visit Network Central where they can learn more about available resources and connect with other green industry professionals from across the region.

The Bright Ideas Center is a one-stop resource center for GROWS attendees. Participants can browse the bookstore for the latest industry references or take in a speaker book signing; bring their pressing diagnostic questions to the Ask Extension kiosk and confer with the experts; and visit the Career Center to post job openings or find out about current opportunities in todayʼs green industry.

All of the show floor activities are included in the GROWS Expo Only pass for as little as $29 per person in advance for all three days of the conference ($39 for on-site registration). For the complete agenda or to register, visit NewEnglandGROWS.org. To stay up to date with conference details, download the GROWS mobile app on iTunes or GooglePlay.

The Convention Center has on-site parking and is located close to public transportation. Another convenient option: attendees can leave their cars in Taunton or Peabody and take advantage of the daily GROWS Satellite Park & Ride shuttle.

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