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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

March 5: ‘Gardening with a Purpose’

That’s the theme of URI Master Gardener Symposium

KINGSTON, R.I. –The annual gardening symposium sponsored by the University of Rhode Island Master Gardener Program will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, a variety of educational displays and great food, all focused on the theme of “Gardening with a Purpose: Natives, Pollinators and Edible Gardening.” 

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 at the URI Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences in Kingston.

Featured speakers at the symposium are:

• Karen Bussolini, a photographer, author, speaker and lifelong organic gardener, who will discuss “Edible/Ornamental Gardens.” She has an eco-friendly garden coaching practice devoted to teaching homeowners to garden more sustainably. Her focus is on creating healthy yards that are resilient and full of life.

• Ellen Sousa is a garden coach and designer who will speak on “How to Support Pollinators in the Home Landscape.” She operates a small native plant nursery in Massachusetts and serves as an instructor at the New England Wildflower Society. The author of The Green Garden: A New England Guide to Planning, Planting and Maintaining the Eco-Friendly Habitat Garden, she lives on a farm landscaped for birds, pollinators and other wildlife.

• Carolyn Summers, the first director of natural resources at New York City’s Department of Environmental Management, who will speak on “Designing with Native Species of the Northeast.” A long-time advocate for preserving and restoring wildlife habitat and public access, she serves on the steering committee of the Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College.

More than 100 people have already registered for the symposium, and seating is limited, so those interested in attending should register soon. The registration fee is $75. Click here for more information about the 
symposium or contact the URI Extension Outreach Center at 401-874-2900 or 

A limited number of scholarships are available to low-income gardeners wishing to attend the symposium. The application deadline is January 25.