Our first meeting was held in February of 1983 at Lagoon Park
in Montgomery Alabama. It was extremely cold and our only heat
was an open fireplace. Due to the cold weather, the barbecue
chicken was not ready by lunch time. Add to that the water leak
that covered the floor, and you had 165 cold folks with wet
feet eating half cooked barbecue! Obviously, we had not formally
organized at that point.
After the cold start, we switched to a summer meeting and moved
to the stock barn on the fair grounds near the Montgomery Coliseum
for the 1984 and 1985 meetings. We had vendors inside and equipment
demonstrations outside. Attendance ran about 200 for these two
meetings with several attendees from supporting industries.
In 1986 the meeting site was moved to the Civic Center in Montgomery and attendance
increased to 300. After this summer meeting, we switched to
spring dates due to conflicts in work schedules.
1989 was an interesting year. Don Siegelman was invited to address
the group and was very complimentary of the organization and
the services performed by our members for the citizens of
Ann Thompson of Auburn's Cooperative
Extension spoke at the Luncheon.
By 1994 interest had grown to the extent that concurrent
sessions for roadsides and utilities were initiated.
The meeting site was moved to the Bryant Conference
Center in Tuscaloosa in 1998. The move has been successful; attendance
at the annual conference continues to grow and now exceeds
In 2000 the Distinguished
Service Award was initiated to recognize and honor members who,
over a sustained period of time, have demonstrated exceptional
commitment to and support for the discipline of vegetation
management and the Society.