Monday, April 21, 2008

media release- Ruskin May 3 & 4, 2008

Media contact: Dolly Cummings

phone: 813-363-5438

The Watershed Tent at the Ruskin Tomato and Heritage Festival

The Ruskin Tomato and Heritage Festival is Saturday, May 3, from 10am - 5pm and Sunday, May 4, from 10am - 4pm at E.G. Simmons County Park, 19th Ave NW, Ruskin. Camp Bayou will again host a variety of environmental organizations and agencies in the Watershed Tent and the Speaker's Tent.

There will be lots of information and freebies offered to help eco-minded homeowners in the Watershed Tent. Some of the organizations that will be represented include Hillsborough County departments: Parks, Recreation and Conservation, Adopt-a-Pond, Environmental Protection Commission, Solid Waste, and Water; plus Sierra Club, Florida Department of Forestry, Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful, Lowry Park Zoo, Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension, Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center and more!

The Butterfly Tent will again contain a variety of native butterflies along with the native plants that keep them happy. Identication signage plus informational brochures will help any homeowner plan their own wildlife viewing station in their own yard!

The Speaker's Tent will provide hourly sessions on a range of topics. The schedule for the weekend includes activities for children, families and adults.

Saturday, May 3

10am- Welcome to your Watershed- Find out how you could win dinner for 2 at Cracker Barrel Restaurant just by learning something new about your watershed!

11am- Rainbarrels with Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension

noon- Compost with Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension

1pm- New Diseases of Palm Trees with Richard Bailey of Professional Forester, Inc.

2pm- Ag Literacy Storytime- Listen to the story of "These Florida Farms" a book developed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services ( Participants will be able to plant their own tomato seedling to take home after the story is read.

3pm- Frog Jumping Contest plus an introduction to 'Record the Ribbit', a nationwide citizen science project to count frogs on May 3: Bring your own frog, or cheer for one already there. Contest will see which frog reachs the edge of the circle first. NOTE: only Cuban treefrogs are eligible to be entered into this contest.

4pm- Critter Creations Workshop- make an animal mask, hat or get your face painted as a native Florida critter to participate in the Parade of Species

4:45pm- Parade of Species- a costumed walk-about through the parade grounds to show our appreciation of the wild world around us (for all ages)! Pre-made costumes are welcome but not necessary.

Sunday, May 4

10am- noon- Paint a Pot workshop

Noon- Ruskin History with local expert

1pm- Growing Herbs Organically with Willow LaMonte

2pm- Ag Literacy Storytime- "These Florida Farms" a storybook developed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services ( Participants will be able to plant their own tomato seedling to take home after the story is read.

3pm- Wildlife Gardening using Native Plants with Florida Master Naturalist Becki Stafford

4pm- Butterfly Release- help release the butterflies to their natural habitat at the close of the festival!

For more information about any of the activities in the Watershed tent, Speaker's Tent or in the Butterfly tent, contact Dolly at 813-363-5438 or email



(138) Marina D'Abreau from Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension Service talks about rainbarrels.

(175) The end of the festival means it's time to release the butterflies that have been on display all weekend. Gentle hands are needed to guide the butterflies to safety!

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