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Hundreds of Carbon Reducing Ideas Displayed at Chicago Botanic Garden's 'Knowledge and Action Marketplace'

Published 05-01-08

Submitted by Chicago Botanical Gardens

GLENCOE, IL - May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Homeowners interested in lowering electricity bills and gardeners interested in growing organic fruit and vegetables will find the Chicago Botanic Garden filled with these and hundreds of other carbon-reducing ideas at the Garden's "Knowledge and Action" marketplace, June 5th. The activities are all part of the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) World Environment Day celebration, where visitors will find dozens of activities and displays underscoring the day-long event theme of "CO2, Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy."

Over thirty non-profit, academic, cultural and environmental organizations will participate in the Knowledge and Action marketplace, held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the Esplanade at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Visitors will find helpful displays and knowledgeable representatives discussing products to help green homes, local carpools, volunteer and community conservation programs, classes on green gardening, the use of CFL light bulbs, vehicles that run on used vegetable oil and even appliances that pop popcorn using solar energy.

Organizations participating in the event include The Center for Neighborhood Technology, offering car-sharing information; CNT Energy, working with ComEd to provide information about Watt Spot, a program to assist homeowners who want to pay market price for electricity; Northern Illinois Energy Project, providing free CFL lights; Chicago Wilderness and Openlands, with information about local conservation and restoration programs; and Horrigan Urban Forest Products, highlighting the best uses for reclaimed wood from urban trees.

Learning to Grow
Visitors will also find representatives from Chicago Botanic Garden programs that include The Green Youth Farm, demonstrating raised garden beds and offering sustainable gardening tips; The Joseph Regenstein, Jr., School of the Botanic Garden, providing information on green classes; and the Children's Teaching and Learning Center, recruiting participants for Project Budburst, a five-year, national citizen science program that is gathering information about the impact of climate change on plants.
Garden staff will also discuss the secrets to great composting, including the creation of a small compost bin and the use of worms to compost kitchen scraps easily at home. Visitors can leave with an easy-to-grow,
carbon-absorbing Melrose pepper. These demonstrations and plant give-away will continue June 6 and 7, at the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden.

International Climate Change Forum
Visitors can also watch a videotape broadcast featuring local, national and international experts at the Garden's International Climate Change Forum, including Dr. Ashok Khosla, former Chairman of the UNEP; Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund; Mary Gade, Regional Administrator for EPA region 5, Suzanne Malec-McKenna, Commissioner of the Department of the Environment for the City of Chicago, John Rowe, Chief Executive Officer of the Exelon Corporation, Arthur J. Gibson, Vice President of Environment, Health & Safety for Baxter International and Arthur Armishaw, Chief Technology and Services Officer for HSBC- North America.

Entries from UNEP's International Children's Painting Competition, sponsored by Bayer Corporation, will be on exhibit throughout June at the greenhouse galleries, located in the Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden. More than 700 entries were received from which the first and second place North American winners were selected. Chicago-area and North American winners will be featured.

The International Children's Painting Competition, the Knowledge and Action Marketplace, the International Climate Change Forum, a Farmer's Market of organically grown produce and more are all part of the Save the Plants/Save the Planet Week at the Garden, June 1 through 8th.

World Environment Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to mark the June 5 opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human environment. Another resolution, adopted by the General Assembly the same day, led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme.

World Environment Day is sponsored by PriceWaterhouseCoopersLLP, Baxter International, HSBC-North America and Exelon Corproation.

The Chicago Botanic Garden, one of the green treasures of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, is a 385-acre living plant museum featuring 23 distinct display gardens surrounded by lakes, as well as a prairie and woodlands. With events, programs and activities for all ages, the Garden is open every day of the year, except Dec. 25. Admission is free; select event fees apply. Parking is $15; free for members. On Tuesdays, senior citizens age 62 and older pay just $7 for parking. The Garden is located at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, Ill. Visit www.chicagobotanic.org, or call
(847)835-5440 for seasonal hours, images of the Garden and commuter transportation information.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is managed by the Chicago Horticultural Society. It opened to the public in 1972 and is home to the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden, offering a broad array of adult classes in plant science, landscape design and gardening arts. Through the Division of Plant Science and Conservation, Garden scientists work on plant conservation, research and environmental initiatives that have global impact. The Center for Teaching and Learning brings the wonder of nature and plants to children, teens and teachers. The Garden's Horticultural Therapy and Community Gardening programs provide nationally recognized community outreach and service programs. The Garden is also breaking new ground in urban horticulture and jobs training through a 15-acre project in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago called Windy City Harvest. The Chicago Botanic Garden is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is a member of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA). In 2006, the Chicago Botanic Garden received the Award for Garden Excellence, given yearly by the APGA and Horticulture magazine to a public garden that exemplifies the highest standards of horticultural practices and has shown a commitment to supporting and demonstrating best gardening practices.

Chicago Botanical Gardens

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