Sustainability at the 2017 IMGC

The 2017 IMGC will be held at the Oregon Convention Center (OCC), which has the distinction of being certified as a LEED Platinum(R) facility, in 2014.  They were the first convention center in the world to earn LEED certification, in 2004.  Over 6,500 solar panels provide power to the OCC, providing 25-30% of the facility’s electrical power.  Upgrades to bathroom fixtures save over 1.2 million gallons of water, annually.  A 6-acre rain garden filters rain water before it flows into the river.

Leftover food is donated to the Oregon Food Bank or to Blanchet House (a local shelter), or else composted if it is not able to be donated.  Leftover conference bags, goods and materials are donated to local community organizations.

As one of our conference tours, we are planning a tour of the OCC grounds, as part of a larger ‘sustainability’ tour of Portland.

To keep their LEED Platinum Certification, the OCC has a waste diversion policy that impacts what exhibitors and attendees can bring into the facility.  Please help us adhere to OCC’s waste diversion policy.  Place items in the correct recycle or compost containers.  Bring a water bottle with you to the conference.  We will have printed conference programs, but will be doing our best to keep paper and printing to a minimum.

Please help us adhere to the Oregon Convention Center Waste Diversion Policy

Prohibited in OCC are:

  • hazardous substances or items containing hazardous substances
  • signage that cannot be recycled or re-used
  • foam core signage
  • helium balloons
  • single use plastic bags

The following items are allowed in the building, but must be removed when we vacate:

  • banners (vinyl)
  • electronics, furniture or equipment
  • carpet, carpet scraps or carpet padding
  • items that cannot be donated, such as plaques or trophies
  • pallets
Oregon Convention Center Rain Garden
Rain Garden at the Oregon Convention Center.


Why Portland?

Video Credit: Travel Portland

We are pleased to announce that the 2017 International Master Gardener Conference will be held in Portland, Oregon, July 10-14, 2017.

Portland is a mid-sized city in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, located near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. Portland has been described as a city of neighborhoods, coffee shops, bookstores, brew pubs, restaurants and food carts. Our rainy winters feed a vibrant and verdant gardening culture. Our perfect summers make gardening a dream! Green roofs on LEED-certified high rises, as well as on the sheds and garages of home gardeners, exhibit our commitment to sustainability. A network of ‘green streets’ throughout the city shows how gardens can be used to manage storm water issues in urban areas.

Portland is a great space to experience Oregon’s commitment to local foods. Portland area food carts, restaurants, farmers’ markets and brew pubs are great places to experience the world class hazelnuts, berries, vegetables and meats, cheeses, beers, and wines that showcase Oregon’s award-winning agricultural production systems.

Portland is located within a 90 minute drive of the Pacific Ocean and the majestic Oregon Coast. A 30 minute drive east allows visitors to explore the waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge, including majestic Multnomah Falls. And, it’s only a 60 minute drive to Mount Hood, where visitors can ski nearly year round or just enjoy the views from and the history of the magnificent WPA-built Timberline Lodge.

Within the city, itself, Portland is home to one of the largest urban forest preserves in the country (Forest Park), and one of the largest city parks in the country (Washington Park). The Washington Park complex includes the Oregon Zoo (where Master Gardeners staff an exhibit that teaches visitors about sustainable landscaping practices), the International Rose Test Garden, the World Forestry Center, the Hoyt Arboretum and the Portland Japanese Garden. Pittock Mansion, Leach Botanical Garden and the Lan Su Chinese Garden are also popular attractions.