URI, Roger Williams Park Botanical Center to host 3rd annual Holidays in the Park, Dec. 10

Event features rare poinsettias, hand-crafted decorations, Santa visit

PROVIDENCE — November 27, 2012 — The University of Rhode Island and the Providence Parks & Recreation Department will host the third annual Holidays in the Park at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 12 to 3 p.m. to celebrate the holidays.

Admission and all event activities are free for those who bring a non-perishable food item for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “It’s a great place for families to warm up in a tropical setting and celebrate with the community,” said Sejal Lanterman, URI’s community engagement and outreach coordinator.

The event, which drew approximately 300 visitors last year, will feature a display of 60 poinsettia varieties grown by URI Master Gardeners. The Master Gardeners will be on hand to lead demonstrations on how to create holiday wreaths, table centerpieces and other hand-crafted holiday decorations, many of which will be raffled off. There will be a wide range of holiday craft activities for kids of all ages. URI Master Gardeners will also answer questions about gardening and composting.

The URI Master Gardeners will have a wide variety of gardening items for sale as well, including their new book, From Rhode Island Gardens to Your Table: Recipes from URI Master Gardeners.

All of the activities will take place within the glass-walled confines of the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, which opened in 2007. The Botanical Center is the largest public indoor display garden in New England, encompassing 12,000 square feet of flowers, rare plants, waterfalls and unique exhibits, including carnivorous plants and towering palm trees.

“It’s so warm and lovely inside,” said Lanterman, who, as the Plant Pro, is seen weekly on NBC Channel 10’s Weekend Sunrise show on Sunday mornings.

The URI Outreach Center at the University of Rhode Island provides horticultural and environmental programs at the Botanical Center, including gardening classes for adults, Learning Landscape field trips and summer camps for schoolchildren and guided tours, among other events.

For more information about the Holidays in the Park event, call the URI Outreach Center at 401-874-2900, visit their website http://cels.uri.edu/outreach or email outreach@uri.edu.