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Verde River Growers' Shaun Symond earns KSB's Norman B. Herkenham award

Shaun Symond and Georgia Munsell. Photo by Gerry Snyder.

Shaun Symond and Georgia Munsell. Photo by Gerry Snyder.

Shaun Symond, the general manager at Verde River Growers, was presented with the Norman B. Herkenham award at Keep Sedona Beautiful's 35th Annual Native Plant Workshop on Saturday, March 8th.

"The Herkenham award recognizes individuals, businesses, or organizations that further the education and implementation of native plant landscaping", said Georgia Munsell, a Keep Sedona Beautiful Trustee.

"While the Native Plant Workshop was originally created by one of the founders of Keep Sedona Beautiful, the late Maleese Black, Norm Herkenham ran the workshops for some 20 years," she added. Herkenham worked for the National Park Service and the Friends of the Forest and is known as the "Father of the Sedona Trail System."

For the eighth Herkenham award winner, Symond, growing plants has been a life-long passion.

He opened his first nursery in Southern Utah at the age of 17. Before moving to Sedona, Shaun lived in Flagstaff since the late '80s. He saw the obvious need for low water landscaping and began extensive work with native plants that continues today.

Shaun travels far and wide, collecting hardy plant seeds that withstand the demanding climate of Arizona. Verde River Growers, a 15 acre nursery in the heart of Cottonwood, is where you'll find him producing the best plant palette for Northern Arizona.

Over the last few years, he and the Verde River Growers have been working to produce more native plants from local seed sources.

Over 130 attendees participated in the day-long workshop which each year reflects Keep Sedona Beautiful's mission to protect and sustain the unique scenic beauty and natural environment of the greater Sedona area.

Workshops included maintaining a healthy low-water landscape, selecting and growing native plants, landscaping without nuisance wildlife, different types of composting and attracting bees.

The premier conservation organization in the greater Sedona area since 1972, KSB has developed programs and initiatives that focus on protecting the area's natural beauty and environment through the preservation of open space, water conservation, forest protection, native plant and low-water landscaping workshops, and creating and maintaining a litter-free environment.

For more information about Keep Sedona Beautiful, please visit www.keepsedonabeautiful.org or call 928-282-4938.

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