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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Todd McLeish 874-7892

URI’s East Farm to host Open House
& Crabapple Festival May 10

KINGSTON, R.I. – April 25, 2003 -- Thousands of motorists have passed the entrance to the University of Rhode Island’s East Farm since 1928 when it opened on Route 108 in South Kingstown, but it’s likely that very few of them know what the farm is all about.

All that is about to change. On May 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the East Farm Open House and Crabapple Festival will give visitors a close-up look at the farm and its many activities. Rain date is May 17.

Located just one mile south of route 138, the 70-acre farm is perhaps best known for its crabapple plantation. Some 175 crabapple trees of 50 varieties – one of the largest crabapple collections in the country -- should be in bloom for the festival. The trees come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, including pillar, pyramid, lollipop, spreading, weeping, and shrub-like varieties.

The farm is also home to greenhouses administered by the URI Master Gardeners and the URI Plant Sciences Department, an apple orchard and dozens of other trees and shrubs being grown for research purposes. Many plants are brought to East Farm from other parts of the country for testing to see how well they adapt to Rhode Island weather conditions. In addition, fisheries and aquaculture research facilities are located at East Farm.

All of these facilities will be open to the public, and tours and demonstrations will be conducted throughout the day, including nature walks, laboratory tours, a bird banding demonstration, children’s activities, and historical tours of the site.

Local community groups will also have informational booths at the event, including the South Kingstown Land Trust, the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, the Southern Rhode Island Conservation District, and the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society. Some of these groups will offer sales of plants, books, and clothing.

Admission and parking are free. For more information, call the URI Gardening Hotline at 1-800-448-1011.

Note to Editors: With 175 blooming crabapple trees, this event provides a great photo and video opportunity.

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