Outdoor Garden at Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, Nevada
May 10, 2011
We recently returned from our spring vacation that was spent from May 8 to 14 in Las Vegas and May 15 to 25 in Florida with a brief stop over between at home. We have been going to Las Vegas since the 1990's, usually once a year. During our first visit there and subsequently since it has always stuck me as what an ecological disaster Las Vegas really is. When we first visited, lush green, water guzzling lawns for the casinos were the norm. One casino even had an outdoor skating rink! About five years ago we started to notice a trend towards a more eco-friendly Las Vegas. The canopy spanning Fremont Street that lights up the night skies provides much needed shade in a dessert environment and the lights are now LED saving electricity. I've noticed that many of the casinos have gone to using CFL throughout including the rooms. There are signs in the room for water conservation so if towels are on the rack it means you will reuse them and unless specifically asked for bedding is reused as well. This past trip I noticed more artificial turf giving the look of grass without the upkeep. The sprinklers were on less and plantings were geared more towards a dessert environment. Water is recycled as much as possible from outdoor fountains and water features.
Pictured is a beautiful garden spanning the space between the entrance and exit of the valet parking at the Golden Nugget where we stayed. Notice the palm trees? These are becoming increasingly more common in Las Vegas. The famous strip is gorgeous now that the palm trees are maturing combined with low maintenance undergrowth. Taking the eco-friendly approach to beautifying Las Vegas is the right approach. It is now at the point that Las Vegas no longer has the choice to not be eco-friendly because if they don't the city will cease to exist. Water is at a premium there so water conservation is a must!