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Drawing to win a High-Efficiency Clothes Washer or Home Landscape Re-design April 18, 2009 (RANCHO SAN DIEGO)—On Saturday, April 25, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m,, Cuyamaca College’s campus will bloom with activity as three of its on-campus venues—the Ornamental Horticulture Department, the Water Conservation Garden,and the Heritage of the Americas Museum—invite the public to celebrate spring at their sixteenth annual Spring Garden Festival. “Conservation in Bloom” is the theme at this family festival that includes tips on green living, and both free admission and parking.

“Three prominent venues on the campus of Cuyamaca College come together to offer their best during the Spring Garden Festival, featuring activities, exhibitors, and vendors that highlight their unique programs,” said Elizabeth Ramos, events and marketing specialist at the Water Conservation Garden. “Plant sales, an arts and crafts show, and free landscape design consultations are some of the attractions, with activities for all ages about sustainable living practices.”


A Conservation Courtyard/Eco-Village will offer green living tips by conservation organizations, including the California Center for Sustainable Energy. Nearby, children will delight in llama rides and the Splash Science Mobile Lab, and adults will enjoy the numerous garden arts and crafts vendors. The Water Conservation Garden’s outdoor amphitheater will offer live entertainment throughout the day with a lineup that includes flamenco music by NovaMenco, and a brilliant performance by Cuyamaca College’s American Sign Language Choir. The Water Conservation Garden will celebrate its 10th Anniversary in the amphitheater at 10:30am.


In addition to its biggest plant sale of the year, the Ornamental Horticulture Department at Cuyamaca College will offer horticulture demonstrations and host a number of gardening clubs and societies from throughout San Diego. Also featured will be animal conservation organizations, including San Diego’s House Rabbit and Turtle and Tortoise Societies.


“We have a great crop of Matilija poppies for sale this year,” said Brad Monroe, Program Coordinator for the College’s Ornamental Horticulture Department. The Matilija poppy, a water smart plant, is featured on this year’s festival poster, and is known as the fried egg plant for its stunning yellow center and crinkly, large white petals.


The Water Conservation Garden will offer a variety of educational opportunities, including a Water Smart Plaza where water-saving technology vendors will display their wares, and visitors can talk with water agencies about water conservation inside and outside the home, plus enter to win a high efficiency clothes washer by General Electric ($974 value) or a grand prize home landscape re-design by Linda Whitney ($600 value).


At the “Ask the Experts” area, landscape designers and architects will offer free 20-minute consultations to anyone with a home landscape design question, and visitors are welcome to bring in photos or diagrams of their home landscape for feedback. Reservations can be made ahead by calling 619-660-0614, x10. The Garden was named one of ten “destination gardens” in the April 2009 issue of Sunset Magazine.


The Heritage of the Americas Museum will feature its “Artifacts Alive” exhibit, showing how local creative types use the museum’s treasures as inspiration for a floral design or other work of art. Their work will be on display and for sale at the museum. The Museum will also feature an arts and crafts show, the El Cajon Valley Gem and Mineral Show, and Eric Runningpath and the Inter-Tribal Dancers.


Tickets for the Five-Choices Dream Raffle will also be for sale. With all of these offerings, the 2009 Spring Garden Festival promises to be a fun-filled, informative day for the entire family. Parking is free, and free shuttle service is available between the three venues. Proceeds from sales items benefit the Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture Program, the Water Conservation Garden, and the Heritage of the Americas Museum. Web links leading to the complete programs of each of the three event partners can be found at www.cuyamaca.net/springfest. Cuyamaca College is located at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, El Cajon, CA 92019.

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