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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI GreenShare Field Day on Sept. 16

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

Sustainable roses, garden lighting, renewable energy
highlight URI GreenShare Field Day on Sept. 16
Event features gardening workshops, tours, plant sales, kids activities

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 1,, 2006 -- Visitors to the University of Rhode Island’s Botanical Garden will immediately notice the new sustainable rose garden and elaborate lighting system, as well as the new solar roof on the adjacent Cooperative Extension Education Center. These features will highlight the workshops and activities at the 16th annual GreenShare Field Day on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The free event, held in and around the URI Botanical Gardens on the corner of Upper College Road and East Alumni Avenue on URI’s Kingston Campus, will include plant sales, gardening workshops and tours, and environmental activities that are free and fun for the whole family. Rain date is Sunday, Sept. 17.

GreenShare Field Day will kick off with a dedication of the recently completed sustainable rose garden, which was made possible by a gift from Narragansett resident and Master Gardener Chester Clayton. The garden features disease resistant roses, a dramatic circular arbor, and an innovative garden lighting system.

“This new rose garden and lighting truly make the Botanical Garden distinctive, so we’re excited to show it off to the public and show them how they can create distinctive gardens in their yards as well,” said Kate Venturini, coordinator of the event and a staff member at the URI Cooperative Extension Education Center.

Another highlight of the day will be a workshop on solar and wind power, led by Tom Wyman of Clean Energy Design, that will include discussion of the new solar roof shingle system installed this summer at the Cooperative Extension Education Center. Unlike old-fashioned solar panels, this new technology lays flat on the roof in place of typical roofing shingles and serves as both a roof surface and solar power generator.

The schedule of workshops and demonstrations include:

10:15 am - Sustainable Rose Gardening
11:00 am - Composting 101
11:00 am – Basic perennial designs
11:45 am - Wire mesh compost bin construction
11:45 am - How to plant a tree
Noon - The latest in solar and wind power
12:30 pm - Composting in the city
12:30 pm - Container gardening
1:00 pm – Worm compost bin construction
1:15 pm - Community supported agriculture

In addition, the Ask a Master Gardener and Ask a Master Composter / Recycler booths will provide visitors with answers to gardening and waste reduction questions; the Plant Protection Clinic will diagnose plant diseases and pests; the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation will sell plastic compost bins at wholesale prices; and free soil testing by trained URI Master Gardeners will be available to visitors who bring a cup of soil for testing.

Other exhibits will provide information on programs such as Coastal Buffers, Learning Landscape, Master Composter/Recycler, GreenShare Winterschool, Master Gardeners, Healthy Landscapes, URI /Food Bank Collaborative, Sustainable Agriculture and several garden and plant organizations.
Modeled after a country fair, GreenShare Field Day will also offer a variety of activities for children, including an interactive butterfly pavilion, a scavenger hunt, 4-H activities, and a “Build Your Own Scare Crow” competition.

Sponsors of this year’s event are Holly Ridge Nursery, Clark Farms, Roselands Nursery, Clean Energy Design and the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences. For more information call the URI Cooperative Extension at 401-874-2900.