Register Now for the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2013 – Contact Us for Your Discount!

January 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm

We are so excited about our 2nd annual  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013!  It’s going to be awesome!

As you surely know by now, this year our Virtual Summit 2013 is presented in association with the World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN), and we here at Greenroofs.com are happy to have them on board as a partner.

There is simply not a greener conference model out there.

Plus, here’s your chance to not only see over 30 video presentations from leading experts, but network with them, too!  Participate in the many Social Media options like participating in the live Speaker  Q & A Sessions and live video, audio and text chatting during the entire 30 days of scheduled activities.

People:

  • Creative innovators and trailblazers sharing organic green infrastructure ideas and lessons learned.
  • Friendly and knowledgeable exhibitors on hand live at the Expo.

Keynotes – thinkers, designers, trend setters, leaders, eco-luminaries:

“¢ Dusty Gedge, President of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations and Co-Founder of Livingroofs.org
“¢ Steven Peck, GRP, Honorary ASLA, Founder and President of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities  and Founding Member of the  World Green Infrastructure Network
“¢ Dr. Aditya Ranade, Senior Analyst on the Lux Research Intelligence team
“¢ Javier Senosiain, Architect, Principal of Arquitectura Orgánica
“¢ Mary Ann Uhlmann, GRP, Environmental Horticulturist and Tremco, Inc. Manager, Vegetated Roof Systems Program Development

Visit the Speakers page to see all of our outstanding presenters!

See the Preliminary Agenda to read about the Keynotes, Individual and Collaborative Presentations, Expert Panel Sessions, and “Inspiration Nook” topics.

Expo Wednesdays:

Visit our fantastic  Sponsors and Exhibitors  at the cool  Expo Pavilions and see all the new products and services in our industry from leading manufacturers, suppliers, and service providers as well as learn about different world organizations on  4 dedicated days!

We’ve lowered the price, too, in case you’re considering getting a booth:  only $600.  This year the live Expo will be held on all 4 Wednesdays during the Virtual Summit – on  February  13, February 20, February 27 & March 6, 2013.  Our Expo Trade Show Wednesdays will each be anchored by a Keynote Presentation and a Panel Discussion from leading authorities.

Our mission embraces information sharing across the globe at extremely affordable pricing.  Registration includes access to the entire virtual environment – all the keynote, speaker and panel session videos, Q & A’s, social media networking, Sponsor Spaces, Prize Center, JobLinks Lounge, and the spectacular Expo Trade Show – for the entire 30 days.

How much?   Regular Price $99

Discounts:

WGIN Members & Greenroofs.com Advertisers $39
If you are an advertiser of ours contact us  for the Discount Code.  Contact your organization if you are a member of one of the following from the World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN):

Green Roofs for Healthy CitiesGet GRP credits!
AMENA
Association pour le Développement et l’Innovation de la Végétalisation Extensive des Toitures (ADIVET)
Green Roofs Australasia
International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA)
Korea Green Roof & Infrastructure Association
PromoVerde
PRONATUR
WGIN

Associates $59
Available to participating non-WGIN organization members including ASLA, AIA, USGBC, IGRA, SGRI, EFB, NRCA, etc.  Contact each organization for your Promo Code.  Contact us to get your organization listed as an Associate.

Students & Government $29
You do not need a Promo Code.  But your email extension needs to be approved, including: .edu, .gov, upm.es.  If you qualify but have a different extension, contact us.

See our Registration Page and Register Here.

By the way, we’d like to thank  Tremco  for once again committing their greenroof industry leadership through our highest level of  Sponsorship  – the  Rare Earth Sponsor!

Sponsor & Exhibitor Opportunities:
See how you, too, can be a Sponsor or Exhibitor and reach our highly targeted greenroof & greenwall market – contact us  at virtual.greenroofs.com.

Join your internationally recognized peers and industry leaders for our dynamic 30-day Virtual Summit 2013 and explore the world of greenroofs & walls – all from the comfort of your office, home, laptop, tablet, or phone – wherever you are and however you like to connect.

Visit  virtual.greenroofs.com  to stay up to date.

We hope to see you online for the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013  on  February 12 through March 13, 2013!

~ Linda V.

In Memoriam: Ernie Higgins of ItSaul Natural

January 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Ernie Higgins.  He died quietly at his home in north Georgia with family on December 25, 2012 of a heart attack.

I’ve known Ernie for almost 12 years, introduced by Bobby Saul of Saul Nurseries and Ernie’s co-partner in ItSaul Natural, located in  Dahlonega, GA.

Everyone who knew Ernie liked him!  You just couldn’t help it – he was always smiling, always in a good mood, and always saw the good in others and in the world. After having survived heart surgery several years ago, his zest for life was even more enhanced, if possible.

Ernie was a passionate soul about many issues, in particular creating the highest quality engineered soils – never “dirt” or anything with bio-solids.  ItSaul Natural, LLC is a soil company that came into the Saul business fold in the early 1990s when Bobby and Richard Saul partnered with Ernie Higgins, the original founder of what was then a small hen manure compost company.

The new company was named ItSaul Natural and developed a line of organic soil products under the name ‘Mr. Natural.’  These  engineered soils are available  for greenroofs and greenwalls and other  bio-retention media for LID techniques; structural soils for urban trees, turf and fire lanes; and these landscaping soil mixes:  PermaTill Soil Conditioner, Mr. Natural Complete Landscape Mix (CLM), Mr. Natural Woodland Soil Mix, Mr. Natural Hen Manure Compost, and Mr. Natural Worm Castings.

He was quite the activist, championing many environmental and social causes in the landscape industry and beyond.  He also was happy to share his knowledge with many others along the way.  Here’s he’s giving an intimate lecture to folks at the Habersham Gardens:

He was also extremely proud of many of the projects on which he worked, in particular the Atlanta City Hall Pilot Greenroof  and especially the  William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum in Little Rock, AR.

In 2003  Atlanta’s $60,000 greenroof project was sponsored by the city’s Department of Watershed Management as a tool for improving air quality and for reducing stormwater runoff.  When it opened in 2004, the $165 million William J. Clinton Presidential Library complex earned a Silver LEED rating – the first presidential library to do so, and in early November, 2007, it received Platinum certification for existing buildings (LEED-EB) from the USGBC.  Saul Nursery and ItSaul Natural provided plants and engineered soil for both vegetated roofs.

Ernie also loved nature and parties with music with his friends at his farm!  I’m sorry to say we were never able to make it up there to share in the festivities:

Aramis and I spent lots of fun times with Ernie  at various happenings here in Atlanta and at  CitiesAlive Conference events in Atlanta, Vancouver, B.C., Philadelphia, and  most recently Chicago.  Here he is with Aramis and Janet Faust of JDR Enterprises in Philly in 2011:

Ernie will be sorely missed by so many people and we send our heartfelt  condolences to his  wife of 18 years, Chris Pepper, and all of  his family.  Here are Chris and Ernie at pal Bill Brigham and Beate Allio’s Greenroof Wedding in May, 2010:

Here are what some of his friends have to say about the wonderful Ernie Higgins:

“Ernie got an early start in the organic movement and was way ahead of his time.  For 26 years Ernie stayed with the business he loved, composting and blending organic planting soils when few recognized their importance.  Those who knew the man saw an endless determination to succeed, a master blender, a logistics genius and a salesman  extraordinaire.” ~ Business Partner Bobby Saul of ItSaul Natural

“Where do I begin? I still remember when and where Ernie first called me on the phone eighteen years ago. Like Ernie, I have many friends, however only a handful can I really call true best friends and Ernie is and always will be one of them. It got to the point where we were like two teenage girls having to speak to each other on the phone at least once a day. The value of those “end of day phone calls” was not the business we had to conduct but how the calls would transform. No matter how stressed we were that day or what had gone wrong at work the calls ended up having both of us laughing uncontrollably into the phone, time would get away from us and we would end up being late for dinner. Not a bad way to end the work day. I’m glad we didn’t get into texting; LOL just doesn’t have the same effect as the real thing. I’m grateful I made that last call before I left the country for my Christmas vacation.

I can say that all the times Ernie and I have spent together were very special to me and I feel that knowing him has enhanced my life greatly. I will miss him terribly and mostly around quitting time when I will feel the need to pick up the phone for a few laughs at the end of the day.” ~ Chuck Friedrich, RLA, GRP, Carolina Stalite Company

“Ernie Higgins was a man of wonderful contradictions.  Homespun but intellectual; soft spoken but intense; relaxed but hard working which shows how he found a balance in life and work that few find.  His spirit will be missed around the green roof circles and all his other social circles as well.” ~ Ed Snodgrass, Emory Knoll Farms/Green Roof Plants

“I first met Ernie while working on the ATL City Hall greenroof, from day one he was my new best friend.  He treated everyone kindly, with respect but with just a little ribbing humor.  A southern gentleman who always greeted you with a big grin and warm hug.  Wow, what a void he’s going to leave in the industry.

He and I were on the same flight coming home from Chicago (last October after CitiesAlive).  We sat and chatted the whole way home and continued on MARTA to our designated stops.  He never lacked in conversation and was always engaged to know you better.  He had my back so many times I can’t even count.  I regularly got random phone calls from people who would start the conversation “˜I was just talking with Ernie, and he says I should call you”¦’; a great team player.  I always wondered how he was privy to so many projects; I think because he knew everyone and everyone knew him and everyone liked and trusted him.  A very loyal person to call friend; a real diamond in the rough.” ~ Janet Faust, JDR Enterprises

Here’s Ernie, pre-ponytail, in green at the  Atlanta City Hall Greenroof Dedication in April, 2004.  Note his colleagues to his left: Bill  Brigham, City of Atlanta  Landscape  Architect in dark blue plaid, and ItSaul Natural partner Bobby Saul in white plaid.

“Ernie was a true Champion in the Green industry and without his knowledge, expertise and professional guidance, the Atlanta City Hall Greenroof would not be the success that it is day.  Ernie touched so many lives in the industry and will be deeply missed.  We now have a void both in our hearts and in our profession that will take a long time (if ever) to fill…” ~ Bill Brigham,  Principal Landscape Architect/Proj. Manager, Bureau of Watershed Protection,  Dept. of Watershed Management, City of Atlanta

“Ernie was always the brightest smile in any room he was in. He was a major influence on me and my decision to enter into the world of Green Roofing. And with that, he shared his bliss and made it mine, too. “  ~ Mary Ann Uhlmann, Tremco

Close friend Chuck Friedrich has shared the following with us:

Earnest “Ernie” Whatley Higgins of Gainesville, Georgia, died quickly of a heart attack at home the evening of Tuesday, December 25, 2012.  Ernie is survived by his wife, Chris Pepper; his mother, Jane Betts Higgins; his sister Betty Daniel; his brother Carl Higgins; stepdaughters Julie Sevadjian and Sara Tacket; nieces, nephews, in-laws, and a multitude of friends and close acquaintances.

Ernie was born in Rome, Georgia, March 26, 1943.  Ernie attended Darlington Academy in Rome, Georgia followed by a period at Auburn University.  After returning to Georgia from Dallas in 1988, Ernie conceived and created what would become Mr. Natural organic compost and potting soil utilizing the tons of hen manure generated in the broiler houses at the chicken farm.  Ernie leased land near Dawsonville, GA, and created a manufacturing and bagging facility he affectionately knick-named “Dookie Hill.”  In the early 1990’s Ernie partnered with Bobby and Richard Saul of Saul Nurseries to create a new company named ItSaul Natural, LLC.  ItSaul Natural, LLC, has become a leader in organic soil, engineered soil, and green roof growing media technology.  Some of their green roof projects include: Clinton Presidential Library, Little Rock, AR; Bridge Street Parking Decks, Huntsville, AL; Renaissance Park Pavilion, Chattanooga, TN; High Museum at Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, GA; and Atlanta City Hall, Atlanta, GA, and many more.  Ernie was a member of the Southern Nursery Association, Urban Ag Council, GGIA- Georgia Green Industry Association, and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

In 1994 he married Chris Pepper on 70 acres tucked into a bend of the West Fork of the Little River at the end of Butler Road- just South of Quillian’s Corners and Clermont, GA.  Ernie and Chris later purchased that land and have generously shared their property with friends and family on a regular basis.  Ernie Higgins never met a stranger and perhaps his greatest delight in the world was bringing his friends and family together for a good time.  He enjoyed making connections with people and seeing people connect.  He loved to learn, to hear stories, to tell stories, to listen to good music, and to help anything grow.  At just shy of 70 years old Ernie had more kid-like zest for life than many of us have ever known.  As Angus says, Ernie was a “special, unique, crazy and wonderful hippy.”  Ernie will live on in the hearts and minds of his family and friends.

“Ernie got an early start in the organic movement and was way ahead of his time,” said one of  his partners, Bobby Saul of Atlanta.  “For 26 years Ernie stayed with the business he loved, composting and blending organic planting soils when few recognized their importance,” Saul said.  “Those who knew the man saw an endless determination to succeed, a master blender, a logistics genius and a salesman  extraordinaire.”

A memorial will be held in the Ed Cabell Theatre at the University of North Georgia (Gainesville State College), in Gainesville, Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Smithgall Woodland Botanical Garden- contact Rebekka Kuntschik- rkuntschik@atlantabotanicalgarden.org. and/or the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, 845 West Ridge Road, Gainesville, GA 30501.  Cards and correspondence may be sent to P.O. Box 434 Murrayville, GA 30564.”

Aslo read the “Ernie Higgins, 69: Made organic soils, wonderful wines”  obituary from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution by  J.E. Geshwiler.

Remember the part of how  Ernie Higgins never met a stranger?  Here’s proof – the photo below shows him at a CitiesAlive after-party in Philadelphia 2011 with Chilean Ignacio Espoz of Latin Green who had just met Ernie about 10 minutes prior, introduced by me:

If you’d like to share your thoughts and memories, please respond to my post or send me any quotes (and/or photos) at linda@greenroofs.com.

We’ll miss your ponytail,  kind smile, and hearty laugh, Ernie!  You will certainly never be forgotten, always remembered as the happy person and gentle soul that you are.

~ Linda V.

Happy New Year – Start it Off Right with our 2013 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Calendar!

January 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Our new 2013 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ 12 Month Wall Calendar is still available for purchase and will make a great way to start the New Year off right – now in our sixth consecutive year, the Calendar combines two of our most popular destinations on Greenroofs.com: The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database and Upcoming Events.

Enjoy gorgeous vegetated roofs and walls each month and see where the international green conferences and happenings will be held by month!  Upcoming Events dates in the Calendar are confirmed as of publishing date, but are always subject to change so visit the Upcoming Events page for the latest updates and links to the conference organizers.  Learn more  or  order now.

At only $9.95 each, including standard shipping and handling for the United States and Canada, the 2013 Greenroofs and Walls of the World™ Calendar makes a great gift for the greenroof and greenwall lover in your life.

And new this year, we can ship calendars directly to your individual colleagues and loved ones anywhere within the U.S. and Canada with a special Happy New Year’s Greeting in your name!

Save with quantity discounts on orders of more than 10 to one address – note that the special individual mailing offer does not apply here – and contact us for destination shipping rates.

As usual, our 2013 Calendar is printed on 50% recycled paper with 25% post consumer waste using soy inks.   This year you can enjoy vibrant project photos from France, Canada, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and across the U.S.   Specifically, here are the project photos you’ll see every month – click to see the profile in the Projects Database:

 January – Private Kona Coast Line, HI Residence from Green Living Technologies International (GLTi):

February – Cuartel de Ballajá (Ballajá Infantry Barracks Building) from rooflite:

March – The Barnes Foundation from Roofmeadow:

April –  Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) from Bioroof Systems:

May –  Lincoln Center Theatre, LCT3 from Green Roof Blocks:

June – Atlantic Wharf (Russia Wharf)  from GreenGrid:

July –  Bellême Hospital from Vegetal i.D.:

August –  Grand Pines Assisted Living Center LiveWalls by LiveRoof:

September –  Hotchkiss School Biomass Treatment Facility from ZinCo USA:

October –  Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (The Domes) from Xero Flor America:

November-  Orlando Health MD Anderson Cancer Center Labyrinth Vegetated Roof Garden:

December-  Fenimore Art Museum by  Barrett Company:

We’ve been featuring many of these awesome selections recently as our Greenroof or Greenwall Projects of the Week, and for good reason!

Special thanks go to our participating Sponsors in the 2013 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ 12 Month Wall Calendar  – we certainly appreciate your support of Greenroofs.com:

Barrett Company, Bioroof Systems, GreenGrid Roofs, Green Living Technologies International (GLTi), Green Roof Blocks, LiveRoof, rooflite, Roofmeadow, Tremco, Vegetal i.D., Xero Flor America, and ZinCo-USA!

Thank you also to Harris Hatcher Photography for permission to use the beautiful Rock Mill Park photo of the Greenroof Pavilion & Greenroof Trial Gardens  from American Hydrotech on our cover – one of my own designs, I must admit!

Happy New Year 2013 & Happy Greening,

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com Updates & Happy Holidays!

December 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Hello readers and fellow colleagues,

I hope you have all been enjoying your holidays with family and friends with an eye towards the New Year – especially  after our collective escape from the dire but thankfully misled (or misinterpreted) Mayan  predictions on the winter solstice of 12.21.12!

Kidding aside, we here at Greenroofs.com  have simply been swamped since late summer with various milestones including our trips to Chicago followed immediately by 2 weeks in China, not to mention orchestrating our 2nd annual  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013.

And, by the way, I couldn’t make it to The International Green Conference in Bangalore, India last month – a recent bout with upper respiratory problems were aggravated with all the traveling and I developed ear issues and was told not to fly for a few months.  I was extremely upset but everyone told me that the Conference was wonderful.

And so I’ve been very behind in my various blog posts ~ so one of my New Year’s  resolutions  is to catch up here at Sky Gardens with the following blog posts:

– On a personal note, most of you who have been following us for years know that I have been an international flight attendant with Delta Air Lines for a long time (hey, I didn’t want to give up my “day” job until I knew this greenroof gig would work out!)…well, as of  September  1, I  officially  retired after 33 years of loving (almost) every bit of it!  I had the  privilege  of working with the best people ever – the end of an era…

– The 10th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roof & Wall Conference in Chicago – what a great town!  For now I will say it was great, one of the very best get-togethers we as an industry have enjoyed so far.  If you  have  photos to share, please send them to linda@greenroofs.com – there was a lot I missed and then Aramis and I had to leave Saturday morning following the conference since we left for Shanghai the next day and we missed out on all the tours (I also took a class on Wednesday, so I couldn’t go then, either).

– The World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN) World Green Roof Congress in Hangzhou, China which was simply awesome!  The resort was beautiful and the organization was amazing as there were at least 1,400 – 1,500 attendees – the largest crowd I’ve ever presented to before (I presented Haven Kiers’ and my “2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design“).

We had a day of touring  followed  by 2 days of the  wonderful  speakers, excellent food and hospitality, ending with another day of touring.  Each  evening  there was a celebratory feast – Professor Xianmin Wang and his awesome International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA) team of William Wei, Lisa and many others are to be highly commended.  We then followed this  sumptuous  experience with an additiional 8 or 9 more days of once in a  lifetime  touring around  China!

– All about our  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013  on February 12 through March 13, 2013 –  it’s going to be very different from last year. First of all, this time we’ve  partnered  with the  World Green Infrastructure Network  and we’re thrilled to have them on board to provide an ever greater world stage.

You’ll enjoy  a full 30 days of scheduled and on demand video Keynotes, panel sessions, individual and combo presentations with a lot more interactive fun with scheduled live Q & A chat  sessions  with  speakers and other greenroof & greenwall enthusiasts from around the globe, plus visiting the  Sponsor Spaces and Social Media Areas.  Here are our 5 distinguished Keynotes:

New this year is the Prize Center where you’ll accumulate points for cool prizes; the Joblinks Lounge where you can post jobs wanted and view job openings; and the Inspiration Nook where you can post under 3-minute videos about your research idea, project, or poster boards (no commercial ventures!) and participate in scheduled chat discussions which will be included on the Agenda.

In order to feature our Sponsors and exhibitors, we will also offer 4 dedicated days – one per week – to our Expo Trade Show, each anchored by a Keynote Presentation and a Panel Discussion from leading authorities.  By the way, we’d like to thank Tremco for once again committing their greenroof industry leadership through our highest level of  Sponsorship  – the Rare Earth Sponsor!

Other Greenroofs.com News:

– Starting in the New Year, our “This Week in Review” news roundup video, hosted by our daughter Anjuli Velazquez, will come back as “This Month in Review.”

– We’re currently  scheduling our “Greenroof or Greenwall Project of the Week” series – if you’d like to see your project highlighted, first of all we need to have a profile for it in the Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database!  (We are still backlogged with entries but hope to be up to date within a month).

We only spotlight profiles that have 10 or 11 photos and lots of descriptive content.  People ask us if they have to be listed in the Greenroof Directory to be selected, and the answer is no – although we do highlight our advertisers about 4:1 as compared to non-advertisers for their loyalty.

Advertising with Us  is extremely affordable, and we certainly appreciate the support!  Plus there’s no better place in our industry to have your company listed than with us, the #1 website in the world for greenroofs.

– And ordering our  2013 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Wall Calendar is still an inexpensive (only $9.95 including shipping & handling within the U.S.and Canada) and perfect last minute gift to ring in the New Year.

That’s it for now – we’d like to wish you and yours Seasons Greetings & a Happy New Year 2013!

~ Linda V. & all of us here at Greenroofs.com