URI Master Gardeners to launch first website dedicated to gardening in Rhode Island

Site to serve as one-stop resource for local gardening information

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 29, 2004 — Rhode Island gardeners will soon have the answers to all their gardening questions at their fingertips. That’s because the University of Rhode Island Master Gardeners are launching the first website dedicated entirely to providing information about gardening in Rhode Island.

The website — www.urimga.org — will go live Dec. 6.

“There is a lot of gardening information on the Internet, but often it’s not reliable or it’s specific to growing plants in some other location. Rhode Island gardeners need information they can use to grow and tend gardens in Rhode Island, not in Minnesota or California,” said Rosanne Sherry, coordinator of the URI Master Gardener program.

Among the highlights of the website are:

– a monthly feature story about an interesting plant or timely gardening activity;

– gardening tips and information about plants, pest insects and invasive plants;

– a section dedicated to the favorite plants of Master Gardeners;

– a calendar of community activities related to gardening; and

– a page of links to other reliable gardening websites, including the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society, the Rhode Island Rose Society, and the URI Cooperative Extension.

Visitors to the site can also submit gardening questions that will be quickly answered by a URI Master Gardener, and they can learn about the Master Gardener Association and how to become a URI Master Gardener.

“We’re trying to serve the community by providing practical and accurate information as well as a forum to interact with other gardeners,” said Sybil Parker, a Master Gardener from Matunuck who is coordinating the website project. “The site is going to be the perfect starting point for anyone looking for reliable gardening information in Rhode Island.”

The new website also gives access to information about the 2006 Northeast Regional Master Gardener Conference, which will be hosted by the URI Master Gardener Association and held June 5-8, 2006 in Newport. Registration and exhibitor information will be available through the website.

In addition, the site will have a password-protected section for members of the Master Gardener Association, which will include a directory of members, a listing of volunteer gardening opportunities, and a bulletin board. This private section of the website will launch Dec. 31.

The website is designed and created by Angel Benfer, working with URI Master Gardener and graphic designer Suzanne Stephenson.