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WLS Schedule | WLS Presenters | WLS Session Topics | WLS Committee Members

The 2017 Western Landscape Symposium is proud to present the following speakers.

Keynote Speaker: David Salman
Chief Horticulturist, High Country Gardens
     David is a 1979 graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in Horticultural Science. He is the founder of Santa Fe Greenhouses (1984) and the High Country Gardens mail order catalog (1993). He is currently Chief Horticulturist of High Country Gardens which is under new ownership and operating out of Denver, CO.
Through thirty plus years of hands-on experience, David has acquired expertise in a wide range of horticultural endeavors including greenhouse production, perennial propagation, ornamental plant seed production, rock gardening, commercial tree farming and xeric landscaping.
David is a specialist, propagating and growing waterwise native and Old World plants and is now devoting much of his time to the breeding and improvement of water-wise, ornamental plants for the Great Plains and Intermountain West through his company Waterwise Gardening LLC.

Jean Reeder, Soil Ecologist
Dr. Reeder worked 30 years as a research scientist for the USDA Agricultural Research Service conducting research studies on the properties of western soils.  Since retiring from the ARS, she works as a consultant for the CSU Soil Testing Lab, and as a soils instructor for the Colorado “Master gardener Program and the Denver Botanic Gardens Rocky Mountain Gardening certification program.  Her passion these days is to help gardeners come to know as much about their soil as they do about their plants, and to learn how to manage soil health in order to achieve a healthy plant community.

Mike Bone, Denver Botanic Gardens
Mike Bone is the Curator of Steppe Collections and is involved in many aspects of the Plant Select program. Mike has worked at the Gardens since 2002 where the majority of his tenure is in propagation and production. Mike has a passion for cultivating plants from and appropriate for the steppes of North America and has traveled and studied the flora of North America and Central Asia. Mike’s love of gardening and horticulture keeps him scouring the globe for great garden plants to bring people in contact with the living world far and near.

Irene Shonle
Irene Shonle is the Director of Colorado State University Extension in Gilpin County. She teaches various horticulture programs around the state, with a particular emphasis on native plants. She is a trainer and programmer with the Native Plant Master Program, and is also the Vice President for the Colorado Native Plant Society.


Vince Urbina

     Vince lives in Grand Junction, Colorado, where he is an Assistant Staff Forester providing Urban and Community Forestry technical assistance and support to fifteen Colorado State Forest Service Districts.  He is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and in 2015, completed a four-year term on the ISA’s Rocky Mountain Chapter executive committee. In addition, Vince has been an ISA Certified Arborist since 1999, and in 2013 he became a qualified tree risk assessor and completed certification to be an instructor for the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ).   As a Colorado State University (CSU) Master Gardener, he works closely with the CSU Tri-River Extension program on the western slope as a volunteer and instructor.
Vince graduated with a degree in forestry from CSU in 1973.   His first tree job began in 1974 on the CSFS Fort Collins District with the Dutch Elm Disease Control Project.  Since1994, Vince has been with the  Colorado State Forest Service and worked on the Grand Junction District until 2002, at which time he accepted his current staff forester assignment.

Blake Osborn
     Blake Osborn is an Extension Water Resources Specialist with the Colorado Water Institute (CWI), a research and outreach institution of Colorado State University – Ft. Collins. CWI, and Blake in particular, has been instrumental in providing outreach and education services surrounding rain water harvesting in Colorado.
In his other duties, he provides applied research and outreach projects in several water topics of interest to southern Colorado including irrigation water management, water quality improvement, and watershed health. A new homeowner himself, Blake understands that combining water efficient landscaping with rain water capture can be the best and most cost effective way to maintain curb appeal.

Carol O’Meara
Carol O’Meara is a gardening enthusiast in Boulder County, Colorado, where she works as a Horticulture Entomologist for Colorado State University Extension.  Her gardening articles have appeared in the Denver Post, Boulder County Home and Garden magazine, Edible Front Range, the Longmont Times-Call, Boulder Camera, and Loveland Reporter-Herald.

The Western Landscape Symposium Planning Committee would like to thank all of our speakers for sharing their expertise, enthusiasm and vision.