green-zone

2nd Annual Rain Barrel Design Competition in Porter County

Schools, classes invited to compete in rain barrel design contest

Porter County –Schools in Porter County are invited to participate in the second annual Rain Barrel Design Competition, sponsored by the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County in cooperation with Porter County MS4 communities.

Teachers interested in participating must register for the competition on www.ItMeansTheWorld.org by Jan. 31.

This year, the contest will feature a semi-final judging event at the Porter County Government Administration Building in Valparaiso. The finalists will move on to compete against barrels designed by classes and schools in Lake and LaPorte Counties at the Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration on April 19!

Winners at the Earth Day Celebration will take home classroom cash scholarships.

“Thanks to the Lake County Solid Waste Management District and the LaPorte County Soil and Water Conservation District for spearheading the barrel contests in their counties, we will truly have a tri-county contest at this year’s Earth Day event,” said Donna Stuckert, public education coordinator for the district.

Participants will receive a rain barrel that they can paint or decorate with environmentally-friendly materials to illustrate an environmental theme.

All schools, public and private, and all grades are invited to participate Limitations include one barrel per school.

For more information, contact Donna at the District, 219-465-3819.

 

Taltree Announces Snowman Building Competition

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens snowman building competition now through March 2, 2014

Valparaiso, IN – Taltree Arboretum & Gardens is hosting a snowman building competition now through March 2, 2014. 

In order to participate, snowman entries must be built onsite at Taltree. Participants should take a picture and submit their entry via email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the following information: name, phone, snowman title, date built and Taltree location description. All competition submissions must be received by Monday, March 3, 2014 to qualify.

On March 5, all entries will be posted to Taltree’s Facebook fan page – facebook.com/Taltree – for fans to vote for their favorite snowmen. Facebook fans will have 48 hours to vote. The entry with the most Likes will win a one-year family membership. 

The winner will be announced on Friday, March 7. The free one-year family membership provides unlimited admittance into Taltree for two adults and all children under 17 years old, plus, four one-time complimentary passes. Membership benefits also include Taltree educational and event program discounts and reciprocal admission privileges to other North America arboretums and gardens.

“If it snows, this is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors,” said Alexis R. Faust, President and CEO of Taltree Arboretum & Gardens. “This is just the beginning of the family fun activities we have planned for this year.”

During the winter months, the arboretum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Member entry is free. Non-member entry is $10 per vehicle for up to 5 people.

Taltree is located at 450 West 100 North, Valparaiso, IN 46385. For competition rules and more information, visit Taltree.org or call 219-462-0025.

Recently voted Best of the Region, Taltree Arboretum & Gardens is a 360-acre, dog-friendly oak preserve of formal gardens, woodlands, wetlands and prairies that offers a variety of events, classes and exhibits. Taltree is open year round. All proceeds received power Taltree’s restoration, conservation and education initiatives.

Taltree is located at 450 West 100 North, near Valparaiso, Indiana in Northern Indiana, just south of U.S. 30, approximately 15 minutes east of Interstate 65. For more information, visit Taltree.org or follow Taltree on Twitter at @TaltreeArb and Facebook at facebook.com/Taltree.

 

Recycle Your Living Christmas Tree at Taltree Arboretum & Gardens in January

Valparaiso, IN – Taltree Arboretum & Gardens will be recycling Christmas trees from January 2 through January 12, 2014. Taltree will be converting the trees into trail mulch to benefit guests.

“Utilizing Christmas trees as a renewable path material is a win-win for the environment and for our guests,” said Alexis R. Faust, President and CEO of Taltree Arboretum & Gardens. “This is just one of the many recycle-reuse-reduce programs that we offer.”

Donated trees must be free of all decorative materials, including ornaments, hooks, tinsel, nails, lights and stands. For the safety of the wildlife, removal of these non-organic items, especially tinsel, is extremely important.

Christmas tree drop-off is at Taltree’s construction entrance, located at 440 W. 100 North, Valparaiso. The drop-off area will be marked with a sign, and people are asked to place trees in the designated area only. Drop-off is available 24 hours a day from January 2 through January 12. This program is sponsored by Simko Signs in Valparaiso. For more information, visit Taltree.org or call 219-462-0025.

   

Tree Decorating Naturally Dec 7

Tree Decorating Naturally will be held at Gibson Woods Nature Preserve on Saturday, December 7 from 1 to 3 p.m.  This is a free program but please call to register at 219-844-3188.  Individual sign ups only (no groups)

Decorating the Gibson Woods holiday tree with “natural” ornaments has been a tradition for many years. Stop by the Environmental Awareness Center anytime between 1 and 3 to take part in this annual gathering. Many unique decorations can be made out of simple items found in nature. Acorns, pinecones, seedpods, and other dried materials will be available and you are welcome to bring your own to share. Make an ornament for the Gibson Woods tree and another to take home. Enjoy holiday music and stop by the “Bird Room” to see who’s visiting the feeders.

 

Purdue Master Gardener Pgm Seeks New Crop of Volunteers

If you want to sharpen your gardening skills and you have an interest in sharing your knowledge with others, Purdue University has a program for you.  

Beginning January 22, 2014, a Purdue Master Gardener Program training series will be offered for residents of Lake County and surrounding areas.  The Purdue Master Gardener Program is a volunteer training program that provides a learning framework for participants to increase their knowledge on a wide variety of horticultural subjects.  In turn, participants volunteer, representing Purdue University.  As volunteers, participants grow by sharing knowledge while providing leadership and service in educational gardening activities within their communities.

Training will be held on Wednesdays from 1:00-4:00 p.m. or 5:45-8:45 p.m. CST.  Participants will be exposed to a wide range of subjects including soil and plant science, diagnosis of plant problems, pesticide safety, and culture of vegetable, flower, landscape, and fruit plants.  

Materials and expenses for the series of classes cost $200.00 per participant. This expense fee covers such items as reference notebooks and supplies.  These materials all become part of the Master Gardener's personal collection.  

While the class will be encouraged to create new educational outreach programs, there are already plenty of opportunities for which volunteers are needed.  Some of these projects include the staffing information booths at gardening events, teaching public education classes, speaking to local clubs and organizations, and hand-on demonstration gardens.  

For questions about the program, contact Nikky Witkowski, 880 E. 99th Ct., Suite A, Crown Point, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 219-755-3240.  To download an application, go to http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/counties/lake/Documents/ANR/2014MGCLassLetterApplicaton.pdf

   

Master Recycler/Composter Pgm Offered in Porter Co

Porter County -- The Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County invites Porter County residents and those who work in the county to participate in the new Master Recycler/Composter Program that is scheduled for the spring of 2014.

Participants will learn about waste prevention, recycling, and composting, and have the opportunity to meet others who have similar waste reduction and environmental interests in this extensive eight-week session.

The program will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Feb. 5 through March 26, in the meeting room at the Porter County Sheriff’s Department, 2755 State Rd. 49, Valparaiso. The course will feature guest speakers and field trips that will help students gain environmental knowledge beyond the blue bin.

Topics will include: waste prevention, recycling processes, household hazardous waste and alternatives, organics recycling and home composting. Registration is available on the District’s website, www.ItMeansTheWorld.org.

“Reducing the waste that goes into our landfills is much more than placing glass jars, plastics containers, aluminum cans and paper products at the curb,” said Therese Davis, executive director of the Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County.  “By paying attention to what we do every day and rethinking our routines, we can further reduce waste and make a difference.”

A fee of $30 will help cover the cost of course materials and is due upon acceptance into the program. Class participants commit to 30 hours of volunteer time to educate and inspire others in their community to reduce waste in the home and at work.

The class is limited to 30 participants. Applicants that apply after the class is full will be placed on a waiting list and notified when the next course is scheduled.
     
“Volunteer work can include helping out at the Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration, teaching a local community group how to incorporate recycling at their special event, educating residents in an apartment or condo complex about recycling opportunities, working booths at special events and more,” Davis said. “We’re open to other great ideas they have about inspiring others to become knowledgeable about waste reduction.”

For more information, visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org or call 465-3819.

 

Lake County Master Gardeners Scholarship Program 2014-2015

Crown Point, IN—The Lake County Master Gardeners are pleased to announce that they are continuing their scholarship program for the 2014-15 academic year. Scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate college & university students who are residents of Lake County. In addition to the majors of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, majors of Forestry, Botany (Horticulture Equivalent), Plant Pathology, Agricultural Education, and Entomology are eligible as well. Other majors that benefit consumer gardening may be considered if the applicant provides a one paragraph description of how they will use their major to promote the objectives of the Master Gardeners. The application deadline is February 18, 2014. Application forms are available from university departmental offices or by calling the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, Lake County Office at 755-3240 or at http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/counties/lake/Documents/ANR/2014-15%20post_secon_scholarship%20app.pdf

The scholarships are funded by the proceeds of the Master Gardener annual plant sale, donations from the Illiana Garden Pond Society and other generous donors.

Source:  Nikky Witkowski, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources/Horticulture

Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, Lake County, 880 E. 99th Ct., Suite A, Crown Point, IN  46307

219-755-3240, FAX 219-755-3251

Purdue Extension – Lake County Website:  http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/counties/lake/pages/default.aspx

Lake County Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Purdue-Extension-Lake-County/275041175876408

   

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