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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Urban Green Space Expert to Keynote Tri-State Green Industry Conference

Jan. 26, 2016
Tom Smarr, who keynotes Feb. 4’s Tri-State Green Industry Conference, was horticulture director for New York City’s innovative High Line Park, shown here, built on an old elevated train track. (Photo: “Sunrise On the Flyover” by Steven Severinghaus via Friends of the High Line licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.)

CINCINNATI, Ohio — What’s new in the business of landscaping, plant nurseries and grounds maintenance?

Soil health, turf pests, deer damage, pollinators, hydroponics, invasive species, new urban green space, new pesticide regulations, and new types of annuals and perennials will be some of the nearly three dozen topics at the 2016 Tri-State Green Industry Conference.

The annual event is from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 4 in Cincinnati.

Tom Smarr, horticulture director for 21st Century Parks, a Louisville, Kentucky-based nonprofit corporation, will give the opening keynote talk.

In his role with 21st Century Parks, Smarr helps manage The Parklands of Floyds Fork, a new urban park in Metro Louisville. He previously helped develop parks on top of Boston’s Big Dig tunnel project and on New York City’s High Line, an abandoned elevated railway.

‘For all sectors of the green industry’

“(The conference) is for representatives of all sectors of the green industry,” said Julie Crook, horticulture program coordinator in Ohio State University Extension’s Hamilton County office and chair of the event’s planning committee.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences(CFAES) at The Ohio State University.

The conference’s target audience, Crook said, includes people from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana who work in landscaping, lawn care and tree care; at plant nurseries, greenhouses, golf courses and country clubs; and on the horticulture staffs of parks, cities, colleges and cemeteries.

Speaking will be experts from industry and from the event’s sponsors: CFAES; Purdue Extension; the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service; and Cincinnati State.

33 sessions and a trade show

In all, those experts will give 33 sessions organized into eight tracks: Turfgrass Management, Sustainable Landscaping, Tree and Shrub Care, Annuals and Perennials, Emerging Ideas and Issues, Sediment and Erosion Control, General Pest and Disease Management, and Garden Center and Greenhouse Innovation.

“It’s a wide variety of high-quality educational programs,” Crook said.

A trade show will run throughout the day, too.

The event is at the Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road in Cincinnati.

Save $10 by registering early

Early bird registration is $80 and ends Jan. 28. After Jan. 28, registration is $90. Student registration is $45. The registration fees include lunch (except for at-the-door registration), the trade show, all sessions and all session materials.

Program details and links to online registration or a mailable PDF registration form are at

Credits will be available for Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky pesticide recertification; Ohio Certified Nursery Technician training; Ohio Landscape Architects Board continuing education; and International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist continuing education.

Call 513-946-8989 for more information.

Photo links: Steven Severinghaus,; Friends of the High Line,; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0,


Kurt Knebusch


Julie Crook