Cleveland State To Host 6th Annual Environmental Awareness Fair

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cleveland State Community College will be hosting the 6th annual environmental awareness celebration on Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. called “It’s All About the Green!” This celebration will be held at the courtyard between the Administration Building and the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium with parking available below the gym. There will be food, presentations, entertainment, and various vendors from the Cleveland community discussing the importance and benefits of “going green.”

Exhibitors this year include City of Cleveland Shade Tree Board who will be providing tree care information and giving away tree seedlings; Cleveland Utilities will be providing information on water and electricity conservation; US Forest Service will be discussing how to go about touring national forests; Tennessee Wild will provide information on wilderness advocacy; Worm Works will be discussing earthworm castings and indoor/outdoor organic fertilizer; Southern Energy Water and Air/Taken for Granite will be discussing water purification, air filtration, solar, weatherization and recycled granite; Merck will be discussing sun protection; and Bradley County Stormwater will be discussing storm water and its changes. Many other businesses and organizations will be present, as well.   

"This annual event allows participants the opportunity to learn how to do simple everyday things that will help preserve the earth for years to come,” stated Tracey Wright, Director of Special Programs and Community Relations. “Our diverse group of vendors are sure to have information that will benefit our community members in living greener, more sustainable lives.”

In addition to the many exhibitors, the Southeast Tennessee Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) will be conducting rain barrel workshops at 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. The workshops will show homeowners how rain barrels can catch water from gutters and provide them with an alternative water supply for gardening or landscaping, while helping solve storm-water issues in the area. This community outreach program is free to participants; however, there are a limited number of barrels. Participants will need to be prepared to take the barrels home with them on the day of the workshop.

Children’s entertainment during the event will include face painting, making butterflies out of coffee filters, a corn toss game, a tambourine craft and making a recycled seedling cup and a natural bird feeder from pine cones.

It’s All About the Green is open to the community, and admission to the event is free. There will be giveaways, door prizes, and free tree seedlings.

There will be also be another plant exchange for employees, students, volunteers and friends of the college. Participants can bring plants from their own garden to exchange for plants from other people’s gardens.

Check in for the plant exchange starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 10:30, and the actual exchange will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Participants will need to bring a plant flat, box or plastic grocery bag to use to collect plants during the exchange. You will receive tickets for the plants you bring, and these tickets may be used to pay for the plants you select at the exchange.

Joyce Chapman, Plant Exchange coordinator, said, “We have had much success at past plant exchanges, so we are looking forward to offering this again this year. The plant exchange provides everyone a great opportunity to share your flowers with others by uncovering your flower beds to find little sprouts of something wanting to show its beauty to you and your neighbor. Many of these plants need to be divided to help the plants produce the best quality of its beauty. Go do some digging and come talk about your garden and hear from others about their garden!” 

According to Ms. Chapman, there are certain steps that need to be taken to prepare plants for the exchange:

Divisions:

1.      Dig and divide your plants the day before or day of the exchange. Take care not to damage the roots of the plant while digging them. Once dug, a garden fork, ditch shovel, and spade are all great tools for dividing. Please make sure there is enough soil left with the root ball to protect the roots from drying out. Wrapping the roots with damp newspaper is a great way to provide additional moisture. 

2.      Participants can dig their plants earlier and put them in containers. If you choose to do this, remember to water them well until the exchange.

Identifying the plants:

1.      Each plant brought to the exchange should be properly labeled. We ask that you include as much information on the label as possible such as the name (botanical and/or common), growing conditions (sun, shade, etc.), height, color, bloom time (spring, summer, fall), and anything else you may find insightful to share. Also, to deter the spread of invasive plants, visit the Tennessee Exotic Plant Pest Council website at www.tneppc.org/invasive_plants and refrain from bringing plants with a “severe threat” ranking. 

Seeds:

1.      If you collected seeds last year or have some leftover from spring planting, please bring that along to exchange, as well. Please have all the seed pre-sorted and labeled. Be sure to have a spot at home prepared for your new plants so you can plant them as soon as possible.

 For more information on the sixth annual It’s All About the Green Environmental Awareness Event, contact Tracey Wright at 423 473-2341. For more information about the Plant Exchange, contact Joyce Chapman at 423 472-7141, ext. 224.

For more information on the Green Day or to participate in a rain barrel workshop, contact Tracey Wright at 423 473-2341 or email events@clevelandstatecc.edu.



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