Desert Green is in its eleventh year and is designed to educate commercial clientele in the Green Industry as well as others who have an interest in water conservation issues. A committee representing the industry implements the training. Desert Green is chaired by one industry representative and one Extension representative. The program is presented once a year, with 36 classes taught in a two-day period. A committee of industry representative reviews evaluations from the previous year to decide future educational direction and topics. During the evaluation process, the program is reviewed, modified and revised according to the needs of the clientele. As part of the marketing of this program, two articles citing the importance of Desert Green appear in regional trade publications.
Water issues are crucial to the commercial horticulture industry. A survey of commercial clientele for southern Nevada conducted in 2006 (n=180) showed that 75 percent of those responding prefer education in workshops, conferences and demonstrations. The multimillion-dollar green industry in southern Nevada includes golf courses (the equivalent of 60 eighteen-hole courses), mega resorts/casinos, nurseries and the pesticide industry. Few training opportunities exist within the state. The need to teach environmental stewardship to industry clientele was demonstrated through surveys and clientele interviews. Partnerships were created with the editor and owner of Southwest Trees and Turf magazine, the Golf Course Superintendents Association and other commercial representatives interested in exploring this issue. It was concluded that there should be community-based educational programs, with Extension playing a major role. The overall goal of this association is to teach water conservation and protection to the green industry in southern Nevada and adjoining states with similar needs.