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Archives for December 16, 2014

Festive side dishes: Greenland Garden chefs share tips for a stress-free …

Greenland Garden Centre staff can also offer advice on how to dress your table attractively for the main event. Check out our video with Sharon Van Tighem, the store’s giftware manager, for tips on making centrepieces with outdoor greens.

Holiday Polenta with Balsamic Portabello Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts Ragout

Yields 12 to 16 portions.

Polenta ingredients:

1/2 cup (125 mL) butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups (1 litre) stock (vegetable, chicken or water)

4 cups (1 litre) milk

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cornmeal

1/2 tub (120 grams) mascarpone cheese

1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt

2 cups (500 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated


Sweat onions and garlic in butter until translucent. Add stock and milk and bring to a boil. Mix in cornmeal and cook until thick (should resemble bubbling lava). Mix in mascarpone and Parmesan cheeses and salt, seasoning to taste. Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet pan (13-by-18 inch sheet) lined with parchment, wrap well and chill in the fridge until set up (overnight is best). Cut into 2-inch (5 centimetre) squares, three squares per portion. You can prepare the polenta up to three days in advance, or freeze it at this stage, if desired.

Ragout ingredients:

2 to 3 portabello mushrooms tossed

2 tablespoons (25 mL) olive oil

1 tablespoon (15 mL) balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

10 to 12 Brussels sprouts

1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 1 inch (2.2 centimetre) chunks

Parmesan cheese curls and crème fraîche (for garnish), optional


Preheat oven to 400F/205C. Toss mushrooms in the oil and vinegar and salt and pepper. Roast mushrooms, cup side up, for 25 to 30 minutes. Flip over for five more minutes. Let the mushrooms cool, cut in half and then again in 1/4 inch (6 milimetre) slices. Set aside. Petal the sprouts by cutting from the base and peeling the petals apart. Set aside with the chopped apple for later.

To assemble:

Pan fry the polenta portions with butter until lightly golden on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place on a cookie sheet and warm in a 400F/205C oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until hot. Sauté the mushroom slices in a little butter with the apple until lightly golden. Add Brussels sprout petals and a splash of white wine or sherry, if you like, and season to taste. Serve the ragout over top of the polenta warm from the oven, and garnish with shavings of Parmesan cheese and dollops of crème fraîche as desired.

Brioche Bread Pudding

Yields 10 portions.


6 cups (1 1/2 litres) brioche (or other similar bread such as challah) cubes, medium dice

2 1/4 pounds (1 kilogram) mixed mushrooms, small dice

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Budget, Federal Decree, Growth Plan On Fort Smith Agenda

Meeting formally for the final time this year Tuesday, the Fort Smith Board of Directors will tackle next year’s budget, a federal consent decree and plans for future growth.

The directors’ agenda includes the third and final reading of next year’s $196.1 million operating budget.

The budget ordinance was passed in a 4-3 vote Dec. 1. By request, another vote was taken Dec. 8 on its second reading. Voting results remained the same.

Those in favor of the budget were Ward 2 Director Andre Good, Ward 4 Director George Catsavis and At-Large Directors Pam Weber and Philip Merry Jr. Those against were Ward 1 Director Keith Lau, At-Large Director Kevin Settle and Ward 3 Director Mike Lorenz.

For the third reading, a vote is not required, but may be requested by two or more directors.

The city is anticipating a half-percent increase in revenues in 2015 but is expected to face a 4 percent increase in employee health costs. Next year’s budget totals $196.1 million for operations ($107.1 million) and capital projects ($89 million). The General Fund, at $48 million, is down 4 percent from 2014.

The budget proposal includes employee step and merit pay increases in addition to a 1 percent cost-of-living raise. A combination of spending cuts and new revenues will fund the raises.

Federal Consent Decree

Directors will be asked to approve a costly 12-year agreement with the federal government for compliance with the Clean Water Act.

Fort Smith has been under a long-standing federal mandate to comply with the Clean Water Act by eliminating sewer overflows and discharges into the Arkansas River during heavy rains. In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency placed Fort Smith under an administrative order to remedy the violations.

In 2005, the EPA turned Fort Smith over to the U.S. Department of Justice for further enforcement action. Discussions of a consent decree began in early 2006, according to the city. The consent decree would set a schedule for construction projects and require a program for ongoing care of the aging sewer system at the city’s cost.

The consent decree would ultimately cost the city $480 million, factoring inflation, officials said last week.

Residents would be impacted with higher sewer/water bills, from an average of $43 a month to $120 by 2026. The first increase could take effect as early as April 2015.

In addition to spending millions on sewer construction projects and maintenance, the city would be responsible for paying a $300,000 fine for previous Clean Water Act violations. For manpower to support the consent decree programs, 82 new employees would be needed over the next four years, Utilities Director Steve Parke said.

Comprehensive Plan Update

The board will also be asked to endorse an update to the city’s 2002 Comprehensive Plan for growth over the next 20-plus years.

A steering committee chosen by the Board of Directors tackled the update over an 18-month period, involving hundreds of residents along the way.

The update includes a series of city goals, each accompanied by policies and actions. The goals are related to future land use; economic development; housing and neighborhoods; community character and design; transportation and infrastructure; and public facilities and services.

“This is a document that has been a long time coming, beginning with your decision to update the existing Comprehensive Plan,” committee co-chairman John Cooley told directors last week. “It represents the accumulation of great ideas, directions and dreams laid out by our citizens.”

Riverfront Trail Bid

City directors will consider entering into a contract with Dixon Contracting Inc. for construction of a $2 million riverfront trail.

The Fort Smith company submitted the lowest bid, $1.89 million.

The trail project is funded by a $1 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation and a $1 million match from the city.

Plans call for a 1.6-mile trail along the Arkansas River connecting Harry E. Kelley River Park to the Rice Carden Levee Trail. The trail is designed to include a bridge over May Branch, lighting, landscaping, a 12-foot-wide concrete surface and what the designer calls “event nodes” with benches and shade structures.

A delay in the bidding process pushed a completion date from spring to mid-summer 2015.

Tuesday’s board meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Fort Smith Public Schools Service Center, 3205 Jenny Lind Road. As the last scheduled meeting of 2014, it will also be the last for one-term At-Large Directors Pam Weber and Philip Merry Jr., who did not seek re-election.

Their replacements on Jan. 1 are former Ward 3 Director Don Hutchings and former state Rep. Tracy Pennartz. For Merry’s at-large, position 7 seat, Hutchings defeated Parks Commissioner Sherry Toliver in November. Pennartz was the lone candidate in her race for Weber’s at-large, position 5 seat.

According to the City Clerk’s Office, a reception for Merry and Weber will take place a half hour before Tuesday’s Board of Directors meeting. The meeting itself will be streamed live. A link is available on the city’s website,

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Pittsfield Cuts Ribbon On Renovated Common

From left to right: Pittsfield Parks Commission Chair Dr. John Herman, Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi, State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bovier, State Sen. Ben Downing and Mass. Energy and Environmental Affairs Sec. Maeve Vallely Bartlett cut a ribbon celebrating the $4.8 million renovation of Pittsfield's First St. Common

State and city officials cut a ribbon to celebrate the nearly-completed facelift of Pittsfield’s First Street Common.

Four years in the making, the $4.8 million renovation features a new playground, amphitheatre gazebo and spray park. State and city officials cut a Christmas-style ribbon on the steps of the new amphitheatre equipped with the necessary hook-ups for an outdoor show. Dr. John Herman chairs Pittsfield’s Parks Commission.

“We’ve already got people lined up asking to use this facility for the summer,” Herman said. “We hope the line gets longer because we’ve got a lot of daylight hours and you can see we’ve got lights here so there’ll be evening hours here. It’ll be a great time.”

Pittsfield's First Street Common

One of the groups on the Berkshires rich cultural roster hoping to bring their productions to the Common this summer is Pittsfield’s Shakespeare in the Park. Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Maeve Vallely Bartlett toured the seven-acre space.

“It’s a welcoming park,” Bartlett said. “It looks like it will be a very active park with the playground, splash pad, basketball court and the amphitheater. This seems like it would be a hub of activity for Pittsfield and that’s just great.”

The city put up $715,000 for the project, while the state supported the rest through Governor Deval Patrick’s Urban Parks program and Gateway Cities funding. State Senator Ben Downing of Pittsfield says the Common is a crossing ground for the city’s neighborhoods.

“These investments show how the Patrick administration understands that for our Gateway Cities to grow and thrive we need to create these spaces where neighborhoods and more importantly where neighbors can come together to celebrate everything that is good about our communities,” said Downing.

The park’s facelift also included burying utility lines, planting 30 trees, installing solar compacting trash bins and new bathrooms. Landscaping, asphalting and painting are among the finishing touches expected to be completed in the spring. Since the project implemented ideas gathered at community input meetings in 2010, State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier says it’s everyone’s park.

“Take a look around here,” Farley-Bouvier said. “Nowhere, even where there are gates is there anybody collecting admission fees. Nobody has to be a member to come to this park and enjoy what’s going to be happening here. Everybody deserves to have a place to be outside and enjoy a playground and a concert here. Everybody deserves that, not just the people that can afford those fees.”

The new spray park

Secretary Bartlett also championed Governor Patrick’s $360 million investments in land conservation, protecting 125,000 acres and creating or renovating 210 parks over the Democrat’s eight years in office. Bartlett says urban parks offer a place for people to relax and exercise.

“That is essential to the public wellbeing and the community spirit,” Bartlett said. “It shouldn’t just be big, wide open spaces that you need to get into your car and find. It should be in the center of our urban areas so everyone can benefit.”

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At 100, Fielder House is as handsome as ever

Fielder House Museum is sparkling through the holidays this year, 100 years old and all aglow with a new coat of white paint for the woodwork, major structural renovations and new Christmas lights.

An anniversary/holiday reception was held Sunday at the two-story brick centenarian at Fielder Road and Abram Street, with a full house of guests and plenty of talk about the Fielder’s next projects.

“Our mission statement has changed,” said Geraldine Mills, director of Fielder House Museum. “We’d like to address the landscaping and the interior of the house now.”

With the expertise of the Arlington Garden Club and the Arlington Conservation Council, both of which meet at Fielder, there are some good xeriscape ideas for sprucing up the grounds.

“But we need some help getting a sprinkler system put in,” Mills said. “There’s no sense putting in a great landscape if we can’t take care of it.”

There is an indoor wish list too.

“We need the electrical wiring updated, and we’d love to replace all this ‘lovely’ carpet that has had years of punch spilled all over it,” Mills said. “It would be a huge difference, to have the wood floors back.”

Replacing the aging aluminum wiring downstairs is the most crucial electrical project.

Museum officials would like to return the flooring to the original wood floors that were built in the 1914 house.

“By this event, hopefully we’ll get some new members,” Mills said. The Sunday crowd included three City Council members, local historians and members of the public.

New projects in downtown Arlington that are replacing the George W. Hawkes Central Library on Abram Street could help out the Fielder, Mills said.

“The new library is supposed to have an area dedicated to genealogy and local history,” she said. “We’d really like to have an archival component included, too.”

The Fielder has many paper documents and records pertaining to Arlington’s history that need more storage and display space than the house itself can provide.

Though there is no integrated interior renovation plan or ballpark dollar figure yet, Fielder officials can still dream.

“As big as we could wish, would be to have the floors redone, new cases, new office equipment, ” Mills said.

No wall knockouts or major restructuring of space would be in the plans, Mills added, because the house has undergone 100 years of interior evolution, as with any home, “and by now it doesn’t matter,” she said.

Where might the cash come from?

“The city is good at working with us and helping us get grants,” Mills said. The recent exterior work was done with a federal grant approved by the City Council about two years ago.

O.K. Carter, second vice president of the historical society, presented remarks on the home and on Fielder family patriarch James Park Fielder Sr., famous for being the father of sewage treatment in Arlington yet a critic of electrical wiring in houses. He ran a side business of shipping live, colored Easter chicks as that fad got going.

But mainly, Carter looked forward to the interior plans for the Fielder House.

“Now we’re going to do the inside as soon as we get more money,” he said, pointing out a number of “oddities” left in the home through decades of random remodeling projects. Most prominent is a rock fireplace on the west wall of the front room that was not original to the house.

There are oddities in the museum’s collection as well, including a hand-held metal “carpet cleaner” that could have also doubled as body-building equipment, a wooden washing machine in the basement that cleaned the clothes with a built-in churn-style paddle, and several gravestones found dumped on the property at different times. One is from a cemetery in Haskell.

There are a number of buried time capsules known to be on the grounds, plus an upstairs banister and historical marker from the Cooper House, burned by vandals several years ago.

Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657

Twitter: @shirljinkins

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Leesburg leaders day trip to St. Pete to seek improvement ideas

In the 1980s, Joe Shipes received a bit of wise counsel regarding city improvement, and the lesson is still fresh in his mind.

“This is great that you guys are trying to do all of these positive things for downtown,” the African-American business consultant told city leaders, “but unless you focus on the minority areas surrounding downtown, the crime and blight is going to fester and destroy what you are trying to build.”

As executive vice president of the Leesburg Partnership, Shipes believes he is not alone in wanting to see the city revitalize the Carver Heights and Pine Street neighborhoods.

On Tuesday, took a day-long visioning trip to St. Petersburg, and was joined by city officials and business leaders Al Minner, Mike Rankin, John Christian, Dan Robuck, Bob Bone, Dan Miller, Ken Thomas, Sandy Stokes, Agnes Berry, Vonda Parker, Martinis McDuffy, Sandi Moore and Wylie Hamilton.

The group went to see and hear how Pinellas County city has redeveloped and improved its urban core area known as Midtown, a 5.51-square-mile area south of downtown, the center of the African-American community since the late 1800s.

The intersection of 22nd Street South and Ninth Avenue South was hailed as a vibrant African-American neighborhood during the segregation era and through the 1960s. However, it experienced a serious decline in the ‘70s from gradual integration and construction of the interstate. St. Petersburg began its redevelopment efforts in the ‘90s, and the work continues today.

Among the revitalized areas are:

New homes and others rehabilitated as part of the Jordan Park Renovation, funded with a federal Hope VI grant and a city contribution using Community Development Block Grant funds. During a bus tour, the Leesburg group saw that Jordan Park is filled with picturesque residential neighborhoods with tree-lined streets, nice landscaping and painted homes with porches.

The Dr. Carter G. Woodson African-American History Museum, named after the father of Black History Month, adjoins Jordan Park and presents the history and art of the African-American community. The grounds behind the museum — Legacy Gardens — drew the Leesburg crowd’s attention. The sprawling area was filled with palms, magnolias, a flowing fountain and brick pathways. The Legacy Garden was touted as a popular area for rentals, which bring in money for the museum.

The Leesburg group also visited the Manhattan Casino/Sylvia’s Queen of Soul Restaurant. The renowned Sylvia’s of Harlem occupies the ground floor of the historic Manhattan Casino, built in 1925, where James Brown, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole and Fats Domino were among the many legendary performers. The Manhattan Casino’s second floor features a spacious banquet hall, which is also operated by the restaurant.

The African-American Heritage Trail features two walking tours with markers and signage that lists people and places significant to African-American history in St. Petersburg, beginning with the pioneers from 1868 and ending with the civil rights era in 1968. The first walking tour focuses on 22nd Street South, also known as “The Deuces,” which highlights businesses and the commercial corridor, while the second trail spotlights the educational and religious institutions that were once centered along Ninth Avenue South. Each trail runs about 1.25 miles and each has 10 trail stops.

Other revitalized sights and improvements in the neighborhood include: the Johnnie Ruth Clarke Community Health Center, located at the historic Mercy Center; St. Petersburg College Midtown Campus, which is under construction; Job Corp; Perkins Elementary School, a magnet school; a grocery store complex and a post office, bank and library.

The Leesburg group asked questions of several St. Petersburg officials, took notes and snapped pictures of ideas to bring back home.

Leesburg Senior Planner Dan Miller saw the visioning trip as a chance to explore and see new sights.

“It’s a great opportunity to come out and see what other cities are doing and take back ideas to Leesburg that we can hopefully do someday,” Miller said.

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Horticulture program aims to teach useful work skills

Magna Vista High School’s horticulture department Christmas open house teaches students about planting and growing, greenhouse operation, design, marketing, customer service and dealing with the public, problem-solving and leadership skills, according to horticulture teacher Deborah Barker. It also raises funds for the department. Shown amid poinsettias in the school’s greenhouse are (from right) Bradley Hancock, Liz Vera, Cameron Light, teacher Tiffany Anderson, Erin Perry, Allison Wright, teacher Deborah Barker, Kalee Smith, Juan Gonzalez, Koty Likens, Marizol Alvarez, Dakota Moorefield and Tevonna Penn. (Bulletin photo)More Photos

Monday, December 15, 2014

By PAUL COLLINS – Bulletin Staff Writer

Magna Vista High School’s horticulture department was bustling early this month at the start of its annual two-day Christmas open house.

About 2,400 poinsettia plants in several varieties were grown for the event. Centerpieces, swags, wreaths, novelty designs, ribbons, bows and themed Christmas trees also were available.

The project teaches students about planting and growing, greenhouse operation, design, marketing, customer service and dealing with the public, problem-solving and leadership skills, according to horticulture teacher Deborah Barker.

It also raises money for the horticulture program, which has earned national and state recognition. The greenhouse, for example, is the largest of its type in Virginia, according to Barker, and attracts visitors.

The students were “running the show” at the open house, noted Barker.

Kay Edwards of Ridgeway attended the open house and picked out a decoration to buy as a gift. “I love the (horticulture) program,” she said. “We’ve been coming every year. … They should be proud. … They are such hard-working kids.”

“I feel like I could go into the floral business, no problem,” said sophomore Erin Perry as she wrapped a potted poinsettia. She also helped customers at the open house. The hands-on experience “really helps your customer skills,” said Perry, who is considering going into horticulture or becoming a veterinarian. Bradley Hancock, a junior, said he likes the “interactive” and “hands-on” focus of the horticulture program as well as the business and communication skills he is learning. Hancock, who volunteers with the Axton Rescue Squad, plans to become a paramedic or go into horticulture as a career.

Hancock is a member of Magna Vista’s nursery landscape team, which recently placed fifth in a national competition of the Future Farmers of America (FFA). Other team members are Alyssa Moxley, Keri Knott and Elijah Ashby.

Barker has been an educator for more than 30 years and taught horticulture at Laurel Park High School before horticulture courses for Henry County Public Schools were transferred to Magna Vista in the 2004-05 school year, when Laurel Park became a middle school.

Over about the last 20 years, 32 teams from Magna Vista and Laurel Park high schools have been to the nationals of the FFA competition. Of those teams, 31 earned gold rankings (the top 12 teams), and many teams finished in the top five, Barker said.

Brittany Brummitt and Leslie Earles are the only two students from Laurel Park or Magna Vista high schools who went to nationals three times, Barker said. Earles now manages a series of garden centers near Atlanta, Barker said. Alice Cox, Virginia FFA state reporter, was visiting the open house. “This is phenomenal, the fact she (Barker) started from cuttings in the summer,” Cox said as she stood in the greenhouse in a sea of poinsettias. “Every student is involved from planting to sales. It’s just great.”

The horticulture department’s curriculum includes a year-long introductory course in horticulture sciences; Floral Design II, Dual Enrollment Floral Design, and landscaping classes, Barker said. Floral design courses are taught in the fall and landscaping in the spring.

“We were application learning before it was cool,” Barker said, referring to authentic learning or project-based learning, which connects student to real-world issues, problems and applications.

About 160 Magna Vista students are taking horticulture classes, nearly a sixth of the student body. There is a waiting list for some classes.

“The skills the students are honing as they participate in the process of planning, planting, growing, marketing and serving the public will carry them successfully into the future as they become leaders in a variety of fields,” said Henry County Public Schools Superintendent Jared Cotton in an email.

The horticulture department “is designed to teach, train and prepare students for future job opportunities,” said principal JaMese Black in an email. “Our focus is to provide a clear understanding of the content, marketing, presentation and sales of a product. This is an another example of how our foundation skills of critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication are used.”

Some of Barker’s former students have gone into horticulture as a career or transferred skills they learned to other careers, she said. Those transferable skills include not only the science of horticulture but skills in communication, business and work ethic. “Our kids know how to work,” Barker said.

Some former students have become educators, including Tiffany Anderson, who teaches horticulture now about two-thirds of her day at Magna Vista and agriculture about one-third of the day. Some students learn better through real-world applications and hands-on learning compared with other methods of teaching, Anderson said.

In addition to the horticulture department’s Christmas sales, which are continuing, Magna Vista’s horticulture students are known for their wedding shows and community landscaping projects.

Magna Vista was one of two Virginia schools among 64 schools nationwide recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as Green Ribbon Schools in 2013. The Green Ribbon Schools designation recognizes energy-efficient and environmentally friendly schools with programs that promote environmental awareness and literacy, community engagement, and student wellness.

Magna Vista was recognized for developing outdoor learning areas, such as gardens, landscape beds and livestock areas, featuring native plants that rely only on rainfall and do not require watering; the school’s wildlife-friendly landscaping provides cover and shelter for deer, turkey, and other animals.

The outdoor learning areas include a biofalls pond with water plants and fish, a “disappearing stream,” a “water jar” feature, gazebo, and a maze with plantings and a fountain.

The horticulture program is planning to grow native water plants and is seeking grants to add aquaculture and hydroponics.

Students also are looking at alternative agricultural crops; for example, Barker said, there might be a niche market for short shrubs.

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There’s something for everyone at the Cy-Fair Home & Garden Show

The 8th Annual Cy-Fair Home Garden Show will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 21 and 22, 2015, at the Berry Center, 8877 Barker Cypress Road in Cypress.

Featuring the latest trends in interior design and outdoor living, homeowners attending the 2015 Cy-Fair Home Garden Show will be able to pick up not only fresh ideas for their homes and gardens, but fresh seasonal produce for their kitchens.

“This is the eighth year the Cy-Fair Home Garden Show will put the experts, contractors and specialists who can deliver, install and transform virtually every aspect of residential living at homeowners’ fingertips – in one convenient, fun-filled event,” said Tony Wood, president of Texwood Shows Inc., producer of the annual home and garden show. “From an on-site farmers market to window treatments, this year’s vendors and exhibitors will showcase their best traditional styles and cutting-edge technologies.”

New to the Cy-Fair show in 2015 is the Hunter-Douglas “Energy Smart Style” exhibit featuring Mary Scalli, founder of Houston-based Simple Elegance and an expert in home décor and staging. Combining elegance with energy efficiency, Scalli will present Hunter-Douglas’ latest trends in window fashions and treatments as well as demonstrate its automated products that can provide protection against heat loss or minimize solar heat by adjusting window coverage with either the push of a button or automatic programming.

Also joining the Cy-Fair show in spring 2015 is the Bridgeland Farmers Market, a volunteer-run organization that features vendors including Marchese Sausage, Lavende Lavender, Olivero Farms, PEAS Farms, Ready to Grow Gardens and King of the Pit. In addition to local farm-fresh seasonal produce, the market’s 30-plus vendors sell local honey, pastured meats and olive oil as well as all-natural cleaning products and much more. The farmers market will also provide fresh food items to the show’s Outdoor Cooking Stage, featuring Molly Fowler, The Dining Diva, and chefs from the Berry Center.

With more homeowners than ever updating their homes, a popular exhibit in the show is sure to be the Bath Kitchen Hardware Showcase presented by Cypress-based MIB Remodeling. Featuring the latest in faucets, sinks, showers and freestanding tubs from well-known manufacturers Kohler, Delta and Miseno, show-goers will be able to meet with remodeling professionals while learning about the newest products for the kitchen and bath.

Experts in residential living will be on hand throughout the show to offer live seminars and question-and-answer sessions addressing specific situations and concerns. Among the experts scheduled to appear are: Randy Lemmon, host of Newsradio 740 KTRH’s Gardenline; Michael Garfield, the High-Tech Texan; Certified Professional Organizer Lisa Giesler; and green home architect LaVerne Williams.

Those wishing to add curb appeal or green space to a home’s landscape, will have an opportunity to visit with experts in the Belgard Pavers Mobile Display, a semi-truck loaded with Outdoor Living Ideas, or gardeners in the RCW Nurseries In-Show Garden Market. For those who prefer to let someone else do the work, representatives of Turf Plus Management will be on hand to answer any questions at its Outdoor Landscaping and Living feature.

“In many cases, homeowners will be able to compare products, get bids and get projects started while they are at the show,” said Wood. “It’s a great way to see a wide range of possibilities – including some they never knew existed.”

“An important part of the show is giving back to our host communities,” Wood said, “I am pleased to announce that the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation has been selected as the 2015 charity partner of the Cy-Fair Home Garden Show.”

Tickets for the Cy-Fair Home Garden Show are $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and children 12 years and younger can attend for free. Located at 8877 Barker Cypress Road in Cypress, the Berry Center has acres of free parking.

For more information about the show, call 832-274-3944 or visit, where a downloadable discount coupon for $2 off admission is available.

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