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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Renewable energy exhibits highlight URI GreenShare Field Day on Sept. 29

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

Event features biofuel cars, conservation workshops, gardening activities


KINGSTON, R.I. – September 18, 2007 – Traditional gardening workshops, sales and demonstrations will share space with renewable energy and energy conservation activities at the 17th annual GreenShare Field Day at the University of Rhode Island on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The free event will be held in and around the URI Botanical Gardens and Outreach Center on the corner of Upper College Road and East Alumni Avenue on URI’s Kingston Campus. Rain date is Sunday, Sept. 30.

Highlights will include a showcase of alternative-fueled vehicles – biofuel, electric and hybrid – as well as an exhibit about the Outreach Center’s photovoltaic roof tiles. There will be workshops on URI’s energy conservation programs, and another on “Smart Tips for Home Energy Conservation.” In addition, Rosanne Sherry, coordinator of the URI Master Gardener program, will lead a workshop entitled “A Gardener’s Guide to Global Warming,”

The event will also launch the President’s Parntership for Energy, which will bring together an interdisciplinary team of researchers, students and outreach specialists to work to develop locally based solutions to energy issues.

“Energy production and consumption practices have an incredible impact on the environment and our daily lives,” said Marion Gold, director of the Outreach Center at URI’s College of the Environment and Life Sciences and co-director of the energy partnership. “With global warming on the top of everyone’s list of concerns, it seemed appropriate to bring attention to our energy use patterns at this year’s GreenShare Field Day.”

That’s not to say that the more traditional gardening activities will be neglected this year.

Workshops on hydrangeas, composting, school gardens and other gardening themes will be offered, along with tours of the Botanical Garden, plant sales, and a wide range of garden-themed exhibits, vendors and activities that are fun for the whole family.

The day will kick off at 9:30 a.m. with the unveiling of a plaque recognizing the late Kathy Mallon, former director of URI’s Cooperative Extension Education Center (now the Outreach Center), and another plaque honoring URI Master Gardener Chet Clayton, whose generous contribution made possible the sustainable rose garden which is the centerpiece of the Botanical Garden. The rose garden features disease resistant roses, a dramatic circular arbor, and an innovative garden lighting system.

Also at GreenShare again this year, the Ask a Master Gardener and Ask a Master Composter / Recycler booths will provide visitors with answers to gardening and waste reduction questions, 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 the URI Learning Landscape, the Center for Vector-Borne Disease, DEM Mosquito Abatement, URI Master Gardeners, the Toxics Information Project, the Rhode Island Solar Energy Association, and several garden and plant organizations. Music will be provided by Loose Roots of Foster, a traditional bluegrass and folk group.

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, Wood River Evergreens, and the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences. For more information call the URI Outreach Center at 401-874-2900 or visit www.uri.edu/cels/ceoc.