URI offers Eco-Exploration Camp, gardening workshops at Roger Williams Park Botanical Center

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – June 21, 2011 – Still looking for a summer camp for your children? Interested in a free workshop to improve your gardening skills? It’s not too late to sign up for these summer programs hosted by the University of Rhode Island at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center and Community Garden.

The Eco-Exploration Camp runs for three weeks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning on August 7. Open to children ages 8 through 12, the camp teaches children about urban wildlife and how to study them, including learning techniques for collecting insects, tracking mammals, and cataloging the birds that use the garden as habitat. Participants will also play nature-themed games, make arts and crafts projects, and draw in a nature journal.

“The children’s garden at the new Roger Williams Park Community Garden is the perfect setting for kids to learn about growing healthy food and discover the diversity of nature found in urban greenspaces,” said Vanessa Venturini, the coordinator of the URI Learning Landscape Program.

Each weekly camp session costs $50 and includes lunch. The program is offered at a 50 percent discount to Providence residents through a partnership with the Providence Parks and Recreation Department.

The free gardening workshops take place on Saturdays in July, August and September beginning at 10 a.m. Sessions include composting (July 7), attracting beneficial insects (July 14), maintaining your gardening tools (July 21), extending the gardening season (Aug. 4), tree and shrub care (Aug. 11), taming your tomatoes (Aug. 18), cooking with herbs (Sept. 8) and putting your garden to bed (Sept. 22).

Registration for the gardening workshops is not required.

For more information about the camp or gardening programs, visit http://www.uri.edu/cels/ceoc/or call Vanessa Venturini at 401-874-7142 or email Vanessa@uri.edu.