Question. Where can you go and visit Egypt, Sherwood Forest, New York, a tropical island, a Pirate’s island, Monte Carlo, the Italian Riviera, jet skiing on a large lake or snow-skiing on a nearby, 14,000 foot mountain all in a day? Las Vegas now boasts the eighth busiest airport in the United States and the tenth in the world. When you count tourists and convention delegates at 32 million each year, their isn’t any city busier. The closest comparison would be the crowds visiting the Orlando area attractions, the busiest multi-city area in the US. So what’s the problem? It isn’t what you think. Yes, Las Vegas receives less than 4 inches of rain each year. Yes, the summertime temperatures soar above 110 for long periods of time in the summer. Yes, the humidity is usually below 10 percent and the wind speed is usually among the highest in the Southwest. But many places in the desert Southwest are like that.
|Corrosion to sidewalk from salts|
|Salt damage to block walls due to salt in soil and water|
|Las Vegas Valley Water District Desert Landscape Award Winner|
The megaresort gardeners are faced with a huge problem the moment a landscape architect from outside the area draws up plans for a new hotel. Under the demands of the owners, the new property must be different than anything else already here and give an appearance that the customer is not in a desert. Seventy-two and 90 inch boxed trees like English oak are brought in from the east coast on flat beds in the middle of summer to a meet a deadline for “Sherwood Forest”. Pine needles are brought in by the boxcar load on a train to simulate a Carolina landscape. Eighty acres of sod are trucked in from out of state on a revolving caravan of flatbeds to meet a deadline for a recreation facility. A few years ago the whole idea would have been preposterous. Now it’s being done.
|TPC one of the desert southwest courses|
|Research at Univ of Nv on salt damage to plants|
The University of Nevada and Cooperative Extension have been involved in research projects focusing on urban plant water use since 1985. The Urban Water Conservation Research and Extension Center is currently has projects underway investigating the drought resistance of woody ornamentals used in landscaping, the use of moderately saline water for irrigating turfgrass and ornamentals, a survey of the urban horticulture industry, assessment of plant status using aerial, remote sensing and the establishment of demonstration plantings for environmentally sensitive landscapes.
Changes for southern Nevada have been rapid and dramatic since 1984. Explosions in population and tourism have changed the Las Vegas landscape dramatically in that time period. High tech gaming in Las Vegas has forced it to become high tech horticulture. Water has become a critical issue for folks in southern Nevada. This new look has created opportunities for those who want to make the desert bloom.