URI Outreach Center offers fall training programs on energy, composting, gardening

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KINGSTON, R.I. – September 1, 2010 – The Mallon Outreach Center at the University of Rhode Island is accepting registrations for three fall educational programs designed to help residents save energy, learn to compost, and improve their gardening skills.

The URI Master Composter & Recycler training program runs on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings in October; the URI Master Energy program takes place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in October; and the Fall Gardening School runs on Wednesdays, mid-September to mid-October plus one Saturday session.

“These programs are tremendously popular because they engage and educate Rhode Islanders in vitally important and relevant current issues. Sustainable energy, waste management and sustainable horticulture are complex but fascinating topics – there is a lot to learn and how people use the information makes a difference,” said Marion Gold, director of the Outreach Center. “The Master Energy and Master Composting programs also have volunteer components that result in a greater understanding and discussion of these issues in the local communities.”

The Master Energy program teaches participants how to save money and protect the environment through energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy and alternative fuels. Included in the sessions will be lessons on assessing energy savings opportunities, calculating the value of efficiency projects, and small-scale renewable energy installations. Participants will also learn about current state and federal energy policy and cutting edge energy research happening here in Rhode Island.

The class will be taught by Robert S. Cerio, who has 25 years of experience as an energy resource manager, with additional speakers from National Grid, Alteris Renewables, and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources. The class meets from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday nights from Oct. 5 to Oct. 26 at the URI Feinstein Providence Campus. Registration fee is $100.

Master Composter and Recycler program trains Rhode Islanders to provide a solution to one of the state’s pressing environmental problems – solid waste. The sessions will feature discussions on such topics as the importance and benefits of composting and recycling, starting a backyard compost process, compost science, worm and innovative composting methods, and community outreach.

Classes take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the URI Outreach Center in Kingston on Oct. 7, 14 and 21. Saturday field trips to the state landfill, a commercial composting facility, and an urban composting setting are scheduled for Oct. 9, 16 and 30. The cost of the program is $75.

Fall Gardening School features six sessions on such topics as fall pruning of ornamental shrubs, medicinal plants, understanding perennial culture, and houseplant and tropical plant care. Each class features, lectures, demonstrations, garden tours and hands-on activities geared to gardeners of all skill and ability levels.

Five weekly gardening classes will be held on Wednesdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. starting on Sept. 15, plus one Saturday class on Oct. 2 from 9 to 11 a.m. They meet at either the URI Outreach Center in Kingston or the Roger Williams Park Botanical Gardens in Providence. Each class costs $20, or register for all six classes for $100.

For further information or to register for any of these programs, visit http://www.uri.edu/cels/ceoc or call 401-874-2900.