URI offers training programs in energy, invasive plant management, rain gardens

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KINGSTON, R.I. – March 15, 2012 – The Outreach Center at the University of Rhode Island is offering three training programs in the coming weeks for residents interested in learning about energy conservation and efficiency, how to design and install a residential rain garden, and how to manage invasive plants.

The Master Energy program teaches Rhode Islanders how to save money, protect the environment, and support Rhode Island’s green economy through energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy and alternative fuels. It targets those who are concerned about rising energy costs and want to learn concrete steps they can take to improve their buildings’ energy performance.

The Master Energy classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. from April 3 to 19 in the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences on the URI Kingston campus. Included will be lessons on measuring your energy consumption, surveying your building, implementing low-cost/no-cost energy solutions, taking advantage of financial incentives and assessing small-scale renewable energy installations.

For more information or to register, visit cels.uri.edu/outreach or contact Rachel Sholly at (401) 874-5558 or rachel@uri.edu.

Landscape professionals and enthusiasts who work or live within RI’s coastal zone are encouraged to enroll in the Invasive Plant Management Certification Program at the URI Bay Campus in Narragansett on March 21 and 22. The program provides training on sustainable invasive plant management services to facilitate restoration of degraded coastal habitats and increase biodiversity.

Co-sponsored by the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, the workshop will include discussion of coastal plant communities, site assessment, invasive plant control measures, disposal and revegetation techniques and CRMC buffer zone regulations.

For more information or to register, contact Kate Venturini at 401-874-4096 or kate@uri.edu or visit www.uri.edu/cels/ceoc/LR_IPMCP.html.

The Residential Rain Garden Training Program is designed to teach landscapers, homeowners and others how to design, site, install and maintain a residential rain garden to capture stormwater runoff generated on rooftops and driveways. The all-day program on April 12 begins at 8 a.m. at the East Providence Public Library on Grove Avenue.

“The demand for residential rain gardens is expected to increase dramatically in coming years since rain gardens are a simple, low-cost and attractive way to reduce stormwater pollution,” said Venturini, URI landscape restoration specialist. “And in some cases, such low impact development methods are required under Rhode Island’s new stormwater design and installation standards.”

To register for the rain garden program, contact Venturini or visit http://www.uri.edu/cels/ceoc/ResidentialRain_Program.html