Conservation Defined:

A careful preservation and protection of something, especially planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.

As related to EPA’s mission, conservation is defined as the preservation, protection or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation and wildlife in order to achieve maximum environmental and human health benefits.

Taking care of the resources that keep our planet alive, for the longest period of time possible. Includes the quality and quantity of our soils, water, animals, plants, air, humans and energy concerns. 


Conservation District Partnership:

Extension has provided funding toward a conservation Resource Needs Assessment with several partners including the University of Nevada, Reno; the Conservation District of Southern Nevada; and the Southern Nevada Strong initiative. This partnership is the gateway to providing an assessment of Nevada’s resources, how they have been used in the past, current availability of resources and what we need to do to conserve resources for future generations. More information on this group endeavor can be found on the Conservation District of Southern Nevada’s website.


Conservation Initiatives at the Main Extension Paradise Campus in Southern Nevada:

Extension has implemented several conservation practices which reduce the amount of resources being used. This type of participation in conservation demonstrates to the community that reducing, reusing and recycling are important and essential for the well being of future generations.  

Solar Panels: 

Extension upgraded their facilities by adding solar power on top of their covered parking. The solar panels offset around 12 percent of the energy usage every month for the Paradise location. This is an important demonstration to the community that solar power is an efficient way to harness energy for buildings, whether it be for residential or commercial use. 

Recycling Program:

Extension has partnered with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Recycling Center to recycle the most commonly used items at their buildings, including cardboard, aluminum, plastic bottles and white paper.  In addition, the print shop re-uses scrap paper by creating new notepads for instructors and their students, and recyclable bottles and cardboard are re-purposed for educational projects. This is important to the community to show that even the smallest acts of conservation, including ways to reduce and re-use items, are important. 

Water Fountains:

Extension has water refill filtration stations throughout the building, which assists with reducing the amount of one time use plastic bottle waste. If everyone in the community used their own bottle to drink from, the savings in cost and plastic waste would be equivalent to saving over 1,400 bottles a year per person for four bottles of consumption a day. Even at one bottle consumption a day, one person would still be saving over 300 bottles a year!  


Relevant University of Nevada Administrative Code:

University of Nevada, Reno and Extension offices have several policies that keep future movement with consideration to our environment.  

5,510: Environmental Policy

Last Revised: March 2006

The University is committed to instituting environmentally responsible procedures in all campus activities and in conducting its affairs in a manner that safeguards the environmental health and safety of students, faculty, staff and the local community. To build and maintain an environmentally aware campus, the University has identified specific areas for environmental focus.

  1. Curriculum - Faculty are encouraged to take steps to incorporate environmental content throughout existing curriculum, increasing environment-related course offerings and research, and to seek more resources to dedicate to environmental research. Faculty are encouraged to utilize environmental practices in the classroom.
  2. Natural Features - The University strives to protect, restore and enhance natural features, biological diversity, and ecological processes on campus.
  3. Energy - The University strives to minimize energy consumption in accordance with the State of Nevada Energy Plan, reduce emissions and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy sources.
  4. Water consumption - The University strives to minimize the use of water both in its buildings as well as in future landscape design and in maintenance of current landscaping. The University tries to use the best available technology to minimize the use of water, encourage the use of reclaimed water, and prevent the wasting of water.
  5. Transportation - The University strives to reduce vehicle emissions and to minimize energy consumption and the use of fossil fuel for transportation. The University encourages the use of alternative fuels, alternative transportation, acquisition of fuel-efficient and low emissions vehicles and incorporate strategies in campus master planning to enable efficient transportation systems.
  6. Hazardous Materials - The University strives to limit and monitor the use of hazardous materials on campus grounds, in cleaning and in laboratories. Every effort is made to minimize the generation of hazardous waste. Hazardous waste that is generated will be treated, collected and disposed of properly.
  7. Solid Waste - The University strives to minimize solid waste production and to make reasonable accommodations to divert solid waste to appropriate recycling or composting programs.
  8. Buildings - The University strives to minimize the ecological impact of the demolition, construction, renovation, maintenance and operation of campus buildings. A University priority is to incorporate Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) in the design of new buildings, in accordance with the University of Nevada, Reno Sustainable Building Policy. 
  9. Life Cycle Cost Analysis - Nevada Revised Statutes 338.190 sets the requirements for Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) that must be performed prior to construction or renovation. The University uses LCCA to strive to achieve the highest quality, most cost-effective means for construction.
  10. Indoor Environmental Quality - The University strives to promote healthy indoor environments and to support the selection and use of materials and products that minimize off gassing of chemicals and other pollutants.
  11. Purchasing - The University strives to minimize the ecological impact of the products purchased in support of campus operations and to seek fiscally viable alternatives for any products that are environmentally detrimental. In general, the University strives to purchase products that include post-consumer recycled content, products that are durable, products that are amenable to repair and products that can be recycled after they are no longer useful.
     

7,005: Sustainable Building Policy

Last Revised: November 2006

The University will strive to minimize the ecological impact of the demolition, construction, renovation, maintenance and operation of campus buildings. As new buildings are designed, it will be a priority of the university to incorporate Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design-New Construction (LEED-NC™) principles, in accordance with the University of Nevada, Reno Sustainable Building Policy.

The purpose of this is to implement sustainable building concepts on this campus that benefit the environment, yield cost savings to taxpayers of Nevada, and provide a healthy workplace for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Implementing sustainable building concepts for efficient management of energy and water resources, material resources and waste, environmental quality, health and indoor environmental quality, natural systems, building materials and design, construction techniques, and operations and maintenance minimizes impacts to the overall environment.

It shall be the policy of the university to plan, design, construct, manage, renovate, maintain, and decommission its facilities and buildings to be sustainable. This applies to new construction and major remodels in which the total project square footage meets the criteria outlined in the NSHE Sustainable Building Policy (those buildings greater than 20,000 square feet). In new construction, the minimum requirements for achieving the equivalent standard as adopted by the Director of the Office of Energy will be incorporated into the campus design standards. However the university will strive for LEED NC™ Gold rating whenever possible.

To achieve these goals, specific measures and design strategies will be described during the project programming phase. If it is determined that a project cannot meet the requirements of the policy, the reasons must be documented in the project program and presented to the president for review and concurrence prior to the schematic design project phase.

 
News Articles, Fact Sheets, Reports...
desert garden
A Guide to Desert Bioscape
This publication will help the reader understand how to garden more efficiently in the Mojave Desert and in other dry areas. Beautiful yards and landscapes can be created while applying environmentally friendly principles. Putting these principles into use will help conserve water in one of the driest spots on earth.
Robinson, M.L., Johnson, W.S., Post, R.L., and Carlos, W.J. 2004, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, SP-04-12
girl sneezing
Allergenic Plants in Southern Nevada (Landscaping for an allergy free yard)
Many people who move to the Southern Nevada area either come with allergies or develop them after moving here. This publication helps people understand what plants can be allergenic and how to deal with them in the yard or community. The major portion of the publication is a list of common plants found in landscapes.
Robinson, M. L. 2000, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno SP-00-28
Becoming a Desert Gardener
Becoming a Desert Gardener is a comprehensive introduction to gardening in the desert southwest. It covers topics such as soils, fruit & vegetable selection and growing, as well as scheduling garden planting and proper fertilization.
O'Callaghan, A., and Roberts, A. 2001, Extension University of Nevada Reno, SP-01-15
nevada sunset
Climate Impacts in Nevada
Summarized in this fact sheet are specific details about how climate change has already and will continue to impact the state of Nevada and strategies that can be used to prepare for these changes.
McAfee, S., Restaino, C., Ormerrod, K., Dettinger, M., McEvoy, D., Kalansky, J., Cayan, D., Lachniet, M., Moser, S., VanderMolen, K., Wall, T. 2021, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno FS-21-06
Common Tomato Disorders Under Desert Conditions
Tomatoes are one of the most popular plants to grow in vegetable gardens and containers in home gardens. Trying to grow them in the desert climate can be problematic. This fact sheet explores ways to help the home gardener diagnose and correct these disorders.
Mills, L., and Johnson, W. 1988, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-88-60
composting bag
Composting Yard and Vegetable Wastes
Composting is an effective way to take organic materials from landfills and use them to improve soil health. This fact sheet covers the reasons for composting and the basics of getting compost started.
Donaldson, S., and Hefner, Melody 2009, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-09-16
Constructed Wetlands for Water Filtration: An Introduction to Constructed Wetlands
This publication addresses how to recycle water so it may be used more than once and looks at how both black and gray water can be recycled by applying the same principles that nature uses to clean water. Combination of living plants, good aeration and microorganisms can provide a way to reuse both black and gray water
Robinson, M.L., Franzen, H., Williams, F., and Fulton, E. 2008, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-08-45
Container Gardening
This fact sheet helps the reader choose the best type of container, plant material and potting soil for container gardening. It also covers the care of plants grown in containers. Information is basic and geared toward the new gardener.
Roberts, A. 2000, Extension University of Nevada Reno, FS-00-42
Creating a Community Garden
People who are concerned about food accessibility, variety and safety often consider growing their own vegetables and fruits. Community gardens can provide spaces for growing food and for contact with others living nearby. This publication provides guidance for creating and maintaining community gardens.
O'Callaghan, A. M., Fagin, E., and Robinson, M. L. 2013, Extension University of Nevada Reno, SP-13-07
las vegas garden tended by master gardeners
Creating an Organic Garden in Southern Nevada
The idea of an organic garden can be an attractive idea, yet an intimidating one. This fact sheet guides people in the creation of an organic garden – soils, fertilizers, plant selection, cultural practices, as well as dealing with weed, insect and disease pests.
O'Callaghan, A., and McKie, P. 2004, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-04-72
Date Palm Gardening Guide for Southern Nevada
This publication is a companion to the publication, in Southern Nevada publication. It is a month by month guide to fertilization, pruning, irrigation and other cultural practices for the date palm.
Robinson, M. L. 2002, Extension University of Nevada Reno, FS-02-99
kale
Fall Gardening Checklist for Southern Nevada
This publication will help both the novice and the experienced gardener produce many cool season vegetables in their own yards. Fall is one of the best vegetable gardening times of the year in Southern Nevada. This creates the perfect time to grow many different vegetables such as green, root, bulb and cole crops.
Mills, L. and Johnson, W. 1987, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno FS-87-34
bindweed flowers
Field Bindweed - An Attractive Nuisance, and Worse
A pretty plant may still be a weed, and field bindweed is a clear example. This attractive relation of morning glory can invade a landscape, interfering with the growth of desired plants both above and below ground. This fact sheet gives information on avoiding and treating field bindweed.
O'Callaghan, A. and Robinson, M. L. 2020, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-20-33
palm tree
Fifty Palms That Are Grown or Should Be Tried in Southern Nevada
Palm trees are an important part of the urban southwest landscape, especially in southern Nevada. Unfortunately, the palm tree landscape palette is limited to under 10 different types of commonly used palms. This publication explores 50 palms that are grown or should be grown in southern Nevada or at least tried.
M. L. Robinson 2010, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-10-64
fruit tree with Fire Blight
Fire Blight
Fire blight is a serious disease of many woody plants, caused by bacteria. It is one of the few that can affect trees and shrubs in the Mojave. Because it is bacterial, there are few commercial products available to control it. This publication guides residents in recognizing and dealing with fire blight.
Skelly, J., and O'Callaghan, A. 2001, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-01-56
Green Fountain Grass
Green Fountain Grass
Too often, attractive plants that we bring into the landscape from other regions turn out to be just too successful. They usually have no natural enemies in the new area, so they are able to thrive. They appear in wild areas and begin to out-compete native plants. One of these is green fountain grass.
O'Callaghan, A. M., and Robinson, ML 2014, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-14-11
planting hops in nevada
Growing Hops in Southern Nevada
Hops are mainly used for brewing beer. The perceived bitterness in an Indian Pale Ale is derived from the hops themselves. Hops can also impart other flavors into beers, such as fruity, citrusy, or spicy notes. However, hops can serve other purposes as well.
Wynne, T., O’Callaghan, A., and Jeff Anderson, O. 2017, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, Fact Sheet FS-17-05
pomegranate
Growing Pomegranates in Southern Nevada
Pomegranates are a delicious fruit that grows well in the Mojave Desert. This publication gives needed guidance to people who wish to grow their own.
Crites, A. M., Robison, G. D. and Mills, L. 2004, Extension University of Nevada, Reno FS-04-76
Growing Tomatoes in Southern Nevada
Tomatoes are among the first vegetables people try to grow in home vegetable gardens. This is an introduction to growing tomatoes by seed or tomato starts bought at a nursery. It also covers the basic care of the tomato plant through the growing season.
Roberts, A. 1999, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, SP-99-11
Hardening Off Plants
When plants are taken from a sheltered environment, like a home or a nursery, it is important that they be given the chance to become accustomed to the new one. This fact sheet gives gardeners the information they need to help plants successfully make the transition.
Davis, R., and O'Callaghan, A. 2003, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-03-71
Home Vegetable Production in Southern Nevada
The Home Vegetable Production fact sheet was written to aid people who wish to grow their own food, but may be intimidated by Southern Nevada’s environment. It gives info on planting times, appropriate plants for this region, and ways to deal with problems gardeners may face.
O'Callaghan, A. M. 2002, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-02-61
Dormant Oil spraying
Horticultural Oils – What a Gardener Needs to Know
Horticultural oils are pesticides that control insects, mites and some plant diseases. They are specifically designed to control plant pests. Commercially available horticultural oils are highly refined petroleum products that are filtered and distilled to remove compounds that can harm plants.
Skelly, J. 2013, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-13-20
Identification of Common Landscape Pests and Beneficial Organisms in Nevada
Identifying insects and other arthropods, distinguishing those which cause problems from those which benefit our environment, is important for Master Gardeners, landscape professionals and residential customers. Publication assists gardeners in recognizing pests, the damage they cause and covers beneficial organisms.
Johnson, W. S., Graham, J., and Strom, S. 2006, University of Nevada, Reno Extension SP-06-08
Introduction to Houseplants
This short fact sheet gives the reader a better understanding of the basic requirements for success in growing houseplants it includes recommendations for indoor plants that perform well in the desert Southwest.
Roberts, A., and Robinson, M. L. 1998, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-98-91
Irrigating (Watering) Your Vegetable Garden
Irrigation is an essential practice for people growing vegetables in dry climates. This fact sheet explains uses of different types of irrigation and how to determine when it is necessary.
Kratsch, H. 2010, Extension University of Nevada, Reno, FS-10-16
lantana
Lantana: An Attractive Shrub for Desert Landscapes
Lantana is widely used in Southern Nevada landscaping. This fact sheet is for those who wish to use this plant, what varieties are available, and how to grow it successfully. It also gives information on what adult butterflies are attracted to this plant.
O'Callaghan, A. 2007, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-07-40
Shredded wood or bark can be a useful organic mulch.
Mulches for Nevada Landscapes
All plants benefit from some kind of mulch. The type of plant determines what kind of mulch. This fact sheet explains what type to use and how to apply it.
O'Callaghan, A. M. 2006, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, SP-06-10
snow in the sierras
Nevada's Weather and Climate
Weather and climate are related, but they are not the same. The difference between weather and climate is time. Practically speaking, weather determines which clothes you decide to put on today, but climate determines the type of clothes that are in your closet.
Ormerod, Kerri Jean; McAfee, Stephanie 2017, Extension | Fact Sheet 17-04
Non-Chemical Rodent Control
Rodents are one of the main pests in urban areas, and can cause various problems in homes and businesses.This publication focuses on ways to manage rodent populations in the urban setting without using common chemical products. It explores aspects of exclusion, trapping and other environmentally friendly practices.
Kerns, W. A., Robinson, M. L., and Ryan, M. 2002, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, SP-02-10
Palm fond
Palm Problems That Aren't
Many people are not familiar with growing palm trees and make observations that they think are abnormal in the palms growth and appearance. This publication addresses these symptoms, perceived problem and explanation of what is actually occurring in the Palm. It is also an easy guide for the professional and homeowner.
Robinson, M. L., and O'Callaghan, A. 2010, Extension University of Nevada Reno, FS-10-72
Perennials in the Garden
Perennials are plants that live longer than one growing season. Some are called short lived perennials and only survive a few years in the garden. Others are longer lived and last 5 to 10 years or longer.This fact sheet helps the gardener choose correct perennials for their yards, and also goes over cultural practices.
Roberts, A., and Robinson, M. L. 1998, Extension University of Nevada Reno, FS-98-93
Pigeons
Pigeons are one of the biggest avian pest problems in any urban setting, including the desert southwest. They can carry disease and insects that can affect humans that live nearby. The special publication helps better understand pigeons and alternative forms of management.
Kerns, W. A., Robinson, M. L., and Ryan, M. 2002, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, SP-02-11
Plant Annuals for Color
In southern Nevada different annuals can be planted throughout the year to add color and variety to the landscape. There are fall, winter and spring annuals that thrive, and there are a few summer annuals that try to survive the summer heat. This fact sheet gives tips for using and growing annuals in home landscapes.
Roberts, A., and Robinson, M. L. 1998, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-98-94
Pruning Desert Shrubs
Pruning Desert Shrubs in Southern Nevada-Type Climates
This publication is a guide to correct pruning of desert and desert adapted shrubs in the landscape. It details how to prune and why correct pruning is important to the health and beauty of the plants.
Robinson, M.L., O'Callaghan, A., and Anderson, J. 2014, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, SP-14-13
Pruning Palm Trees
Palm trees are one of the most dominant plant materials found in the landscapes of southern Nevada and the desert Southwest. Unfortunately, most palm trees are incorrectly pruned by homeowners and commercial landscape maintenance companies. This publication explains why and how palm trees should be correctly pruned.
Robinson, M. L. 2004, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, SP-04-16
non-potable water sign
Reclaimed Water: Uses and Definitions
Reclaimed water is commonly defined as treated municipal wastewater that is able to be used again, a practice known as water reuse. Municipal water reuse in the United States occurs mostly in California, Florida, Arizona and Texas; but it is growing in other states, including Nevada.
Ormerod, K.J., Redman, S., and Singletary, L. 2020, Extension I University of Nevada, Reno FS-20-34
Tomatoes showing blossom end rot.
Recognizing Plant Nutrient Deficiencies
There are 14 essential nutrients for plants, and when plants lacks one, it displays certain symptoms. This fact sheet explains how essential nutrients act in plants, and the symptoms of deficiencies.
O'Callaghan, A. 2002, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-02-65
tree blossoming in orchard
Research Orchard Fruit Evaluations & Recommendations for Southern Nevada - 2020
This publication is for both the homeowner and small commercial grower. The information contained has been gathered over years of research trials and observations of various types of fruit trees and vines growing at the University of Nevada, Reno Research Orchard. It is a handy guide for buying fruit trees and vines.
Robinson, M.L., O'Callaghan, A., and Ruskamp, L. 2020, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, SP-20-07
nematode
Root-Knot Nematode
Root knot nematode is a microscopic roundworm that attacks the roots of many garden plants, killing them. They are not easy to control, but this fact sheet gives guidance for the homeowner.
O’Callaghan, A., Robinson, M.L., and Haas, S. 2020, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-20-24
stink bug
Squash Bug Control in Home Gardens
Squash bugs are a nightmare for anyone growing cucumbers, melons or squash. These insects are highly prolific and can destroy plants in that family. This publication tells home gardeners how to recognize these bugs and control them.
Skelly, J. 2008, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-08-22
Starting A Worm Farm
Worms are one of the most helpful insects in our gardens. They aerate the soil, add to the soil nutrition, and they can help recycle vegetable and other green waste as part of the composting process. This informative fact sheet will help the reader set up a worm farm in the backyard.
Robinson, M. L., and Rider, M. 2000, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, SP-00-26
The Date Palm in Southern Nevada
The true date palm, Phoenix dactylifera grows in the desert region and is one of the most popular landscape plants for homes and is uniquely adapted for fruit production and ornamental purposes. This publication focuses on growing the date palm in home and commercial landscapes as well as how to produce edible dates.
Robinson, M. L., Brown, B., and Williams, C. F. 2002, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, SP-02-12
The Plant Death Spiral
This short publication can be used as a handy guide to identify what caused your tree or shrub to die in your landscape.
Johnson, W.S., Robinson, M.L., and Post, R.L. 1998, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-98-59
Turfgrasses for Urban Mojave Desert Landscapes
Turfgrass sod in urban areas and communities can aid in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, mitigating the heat island effect, reducing energy consumption and contributing to efforts to reduce global warming trends.
Morris, B., and Devitt, D. 2011, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-11-52
Using Pesticides Safely
Whether one is a commercial pesticide applicator or homeowner safely spraying a few pests in their yard safety is a priority. This publication highlights safety practices that will help the pesticide applicator manage pest problems without contaminating the environment or causing harm to themselves, family or pets.
Johnson, W.S., Post, R., Carlos, W., Post, E., and Robinson, M.L. 2000, Extension, University of Nevada Reno, FS-00-19
Venomous Reptiles of Nevada (2007)
Nevada is home to six venomous snakes and one venomous lizard. This publication is designed to be used in the classroom and in the field and explores each rattlesnake species and the one lizard species in depth. Included is information about habits, features, size and where in the state they live.
Robinson, M.L., Conrad, P.M., and Ryan M.M. 2007, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, SP-07-07
Venomous Reptiles of Nevada (2020)
Venomous Reptiles of Nevada - This is an updated and expanded publication based on previous extension publications. It is intended to be used as reference material in the classroom, as well as in the field. Photographs and other materials have been upgraded to make identification more precise.
Jones, J., Robinson, M. L., McKeever, B., and O'Callaghan, A. 2020, University of Nevada, Reno Extension, SP-20-13
Water Conservation by Calibration of Irrigation Systems
Water conservation is one of the most important aspects of gardening in the desert. This publication helps people determine how much water it they are using so that landscape plants can be watered efficiently. Implementing the best cultural practices helps gardeners save money and conserve water.
Robinson, M. L. 2004, University of Nevada Reno, Extension SP-04-10

Learn more about the program's team

Jarrett DeCorte
Program Leader & Contact
 

Extension Director's Office | On the campus of University of Nevada, Reno