URI Outreach Center to offer programs to support school, community gardens

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Gardening workshop, free seeds available

KINGSTON, R.I. – January 28, 2015 – The Outreach Center at the University of Rhode Island is offering two gardening programs for those involved with school and community gardens in the state, both aimed at helping local gardens flourish.

School and Community Garden 101 is a day-long workshop for formal and informal educators, parents and community leaders designed to help increase the success of school and community gardens and to recommend innovative methods to engage youth in garden settings.

Sponsored in partnership with Rhode Island College, the workshop will be held at the RIC Student Union on Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will feature a keynote address entitled “Lessons in Urban Agriculture” by Margaret DeVos, executive director of the Southside Community Land Trust. Workshop sessions will focus on horticulture lessons, including edible gardening, garden siting, and beekeeping, and lessons on how to use the garden as a teaching tool.

“This innovative program held during February school vacation allows participants to mix and match workshops that focus on engaging youth in garden settings or gardening techniques,” said URI Extension Educator Vanessa Venturini.

Registration is $40 for the program and includes breakfast. Click here for more information or contact the URI Outreach Center at 401-874-2900 or outreach@uri.edu.

Leaders of school and community gardens will also be interested in the Outreach Center’s free seeds program. Thousands of packets of vegetable, flower and herb seeds are now available to schools, scout groups, community gardens, and other educational and non-profit groups for the price of postage.

The seed packets have been donated by Ocean State Job Lot and coordinated through the efforts of the URI Master Gardener Association. Each school or community group can order up to 200 packets of seeds. Deadline for ordering is Feb. 28. Click here for an order form.