IWGS 26th Annual Symposium – In Review

International Waterlily Collection
International Waterlily Collection

The International Waterlily and Water Garden Society (IWGS) held its 26th annual symposium and 2010 Waterlily Festival in San Angelo, Texas this past September. More than 100 members from across the globe were in attendance to view over 300 varieties and cultivars of waterlilies on display at the International Waterlily Collection.

Industry seminars, garden center tours, pond tours, a silent auction of water gardening items, and a Texas style barbecue and fireworks were among the offerings for attendees, but a key component of the event was a legislative update on the aquatic plant white list currently being created by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Aquatic Habitat Enforcement Program Director, Earl Chilton II, discussed the progress of the white list to attendees, noting that only plants on the list will be able to be owned or sold in Texas without permits. Permits will have fees attached, and will only be issued for qualified educational or research purposes.

In addition to numerous industry speakers across the U.S., Dr. Daike Tian of South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences was on hand to present an overview of lotus in China. Tian is the current lotus registrar for the IWGS, and is working toward creating an international lotus database, which will compile lotus history, morphology, physiology, taxonomy, lotus insects, identification, breeding, cultivation, culture, and uses for all cultivars around the world.

A special moment at the symposium was the naming of two noteworthy individuals into the IWGS Hall of Fame. Rolf Nelson, of Nelson Water Gardens, previously manager of the Texas branch of Lilypons, was inducted for his extensive work in the water gardening hobby and industry. Rolf was a founding member of the IWGS, and has promoted water gardening on the national and international level, including serving many terms as a Board of Director and as President of the IWGS, and for his recent work as Chairperson of the Invasive Plant Task Force. Dr. Surrey Jacobs, Senior Principal Research Specialist at Royal Botanic Gardens, who passed away in November 2009, was inducted for his extensive work with waterlilies in Australia.

Networking is always a favorite activity of symposium attendees and the 2010 event didn’t disappoint. The opening reception on Thursday kicked off with appetizers and a mariachi band. Friday’s educational sessions began with a welcome address from IWGS President, Jim Purcell, owner of Oregon Aquatics, Inc. and Ken Landon, director of the International Waterlily Collection, and ended with a Texas style dinner, music, and even fireworks!

The Lilyfest began on Saturday allowing attendees to enjoy hundreds of waterlily varieties at the International Waterlily Collection in San Angelo. This collection is the life work of Ken Landon, another founding member of the IWGS and also known as the “species lily guy.”

Thank you to our Sponsors

Due to the large collection of waterlilies on display and the legislative updates for the aquatic plants white list, the 2010 symposium attracted a record number of sponsors. Platinum sponsors provided $2500 or more in support, Gold sponsors gave $1000 or more, and Silver sponsors contributed $500 or more.

Platinum Sponsors

Alpine Corporation, Commerce, CA
Chinese Waterlily World, QingDao, China
Danner Manufacturing, Inc., Islandia, N.Y.
Dickson Brothers, Mesquite, TX
Little Giant Pump Company, Oklahoma City, OK
POND Trade Magazine, Fallbrook, CA
Texas Water Lilies,Waller, TX

Gold Sponsors

Atlantic Water Gardens, Mantua, OH
Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery, Kernersville, NC
Firestone Specialty Products, Indianapolis, IN
Hill Country Water Gardens and Nursery, Cedar Park, TX
Nelson Water Gardens and Nursery, Inc., Katy, TX
PondBuilder, Saginaw, MI
TetraPond/United Pet Group Aquatics, Blacksburg, VA
Tilley’s Nursery, Coppersburg, PA
Water Garden Gems, Marion, TX

Silver Sponsors

Airmax Eco-Systems, Marine City, MI
Bassinger Fisheries, Colorado City, TX
Bergen Water Gardens and Nursery, Churchville, NY
EasyPro Pond Products, Grant, MI
Florida Aquatic Nurseries, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Highland Rim, Canal Winchester, OH
Laguna Water Gardening, Mansfield, MA
Maryland Aquatic Nurseries, Jarretsville, MD
Oregon Aquatics, Eugene, OR
Plantabbs Products, Baltimore, MD
Pond Pros of Houston, Katy, TX
Savio Engineering, Albuquerque, NM
Southwest Aquatics, Exeter, CA
STM Plastics-Botanica, Augusta, KS
Water in Motion, Houston, TX
Winston Company, Tulsa, OK

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