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Going green is the focus of this year's Summer GardenFest at OSU


Visitors to the 8th Annual Summer GardenFest at the Oklahoma State University Botanical Garden will be sure to "Get Your Green On."

Kim Rebek, host of the popular television program Oklahoma Gardening, said Summer GardenFest will focus on a healthier world and stronger community through gardening. The OSU Botanical Garden is located at 3425 W. Virginia.

"With so much focus in the world on "going green," we thought it would be the perfect theme for this year's GardenFest," Rebek said. "We'll be showing participants simple ways to green their landscape. They'll also have the opportunity to visit our new organic vegetable garden and smell flowers that are native to Oklahoma."

The 8th Annual Summer GardenFest, set for June 13, is free and open to the public and will feature keynote speaker Shawna Lee Coronado. She is the author of Gardening Nude, which is described on her website as "an expression which means to remain fully clothed while mentally stripping away the excuses, the emotional baggage and the stress by improving your lifestyle and getting healthy by learning to get out in nature more. Gardening Nude is a self-help guide which helps you to reveal the naked truth of your life, coming together with community and the environment--and, most importantly--improving your lifestyle so you can live happier and be more satisfied!" She is from Warrenville, Ill.

"We're very excited to have Shawna here to be our guest speaker this year," Rebek said. "She has a passion about health, greening the environment and building the community that makes her inspirational to listen to."

Rebek said Coronado's presentation will be followed by a dedication of the new garden pathway, the first installation of a fully accessible trail system throughout the gardens and arboretum.

There are several activities and demonstrations that will take place throughout the day, including a cooking demonstration by Barbara Brown, OSU Cooperative Extension food specialist. Other activities include a question and answer session regarding water gardening, 4-H Centennial Garden presentations, Stillwater Fiber Guild demonstration, and visitors can learn more about Japanese gardening.

OSU Botanical Garden Ambassadors Jim and Barb Kirby will share information about constructing concrete bird baths. Lou Anella, ornamental horticulture professor at OSU, will speak to the group about trees for Oklahoma landscapes and provide a walking tour. And Rebek will give a demonstration called "Intensive Bed Gardening, Not So Intense."

"We've got a whole day full of gardening activities and demonstrations. We encourage everyone who has an interest in gardening, or those who wish to visit the OSU Botanical Garden, to come out and share the day with us," Rebek said. "GardenFest is a wonderful event where we can showcase the beautiful landscape here at the garden, as well as say "thank you" to all of our Oklahoma Gardening viewers."

In the event of inclement weather, many outdoor activities will be canceled. Coronado's keynote address and select activities will take place indoors in the Educational Center. If rain is present early in the morning, please call 405-744-5404 for a recorded message pertaining to the cancellation of outdoor events.

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