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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

RINLA, URI to host annual seminar, trade show for green industry, Jan. 16-17

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. – December 20, 2012 – The Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association has teamed with the University of Rhode Island for its annual trade show and seminar for green industry professionals seeking new opportunities and ideas to keep them at the forefront of this growing industry.

The event will be held Jan. 16-17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the URI Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, 120 Flagg Rd., Kingston.

“Our industry is rebounding from the economic downturn, and our members are thinking differently about how to diversify their businesses. This meeting will help them stay at the forefront of their trades,” said Shannon Brawley, executive director of the association.

“RINLA members are going to play a significant role in greening our state’s infrastructure and protecting its farmland and open space, and that’s going to provide economic and social and environmental benefits like clean air and a better quality of life,” she added.

The meeting agenda, which includes welcoming remarks from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Curt Spaulding, features more than a dozen speakers on such diverse topics as digital marketing, native pollinators, restoring toxic sites, economic trends, and storm water management. A discussion by a panel of Rhode Island landscapers is entitled “The Secrets of My Success – Know Your Peers.”

The keynote speaker on the first day of the event is Paul Fletcher, New England division manager of Bartlett Tree Experts, who will share his insights on how “dynamic tools and sound business practices equal lasting success.”

In addition, the Association will present Professional Excellence Awards and name its Young Nursery Person of the Year. Eight scholarships will also be presented to URI students studying plant sciences, turf science, landscape architecture and agriculture.

Throughout the two-day event will be a trade show of exhibitors representing vendors and non-profit groups that play a critical role in the green industry in southern New England, including Central Nurseries, Sodco, Unilock, Bobcat, the Rhode Island Farm Bureau, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among many others.

Major sponsors of the program are E.J. Prescott and Sons, Bartlett Tree Experts, Turf Inc., and Bobcat Co.

The Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association is the leading horticultural, agricultural and landscape business association in the state. Its members include nurseries, landscape contractors, arborists, irrigation specialists, masons, garden centers, turf farms, landscape architects, landscape designers, vegetable growers, cut flower growers, suppliers and allied businesses.

The association has a long history of partnering with URI in education, training and research that supports the green industries in Rhode Island.

“We’re rooted in a tradition of collaborating with URI, whose professors have created cutting edge research that has helped our industries locally, regionally and around the country,” said Brawley. “We need help from URI to produce our future leadership, and curriculum development in the coming years will be critical to how we address economic and environmental changes.”

For more information or to register to attend or become an exhibitor or sponsor, contact Shannon Brawley at 401-874-5220 or executivedirector@rinla.org.