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Sullivan Renaissance 2009 Winter Conference and Expo

January 12, 2009

[FERNDALE] – The 13th Annual Sullivan Renaissance Winter Conference and Expo will be held on Saturday, February 21 at CVI Building in Ferndale.  Details of this year’s Sullivan Renaissance grant program will be announced and 2008 applications will be available.


“Celebrating Sullivan County – A Place Worth Caring About” will feature exhibits and workshops on celebrating the bicentennial and historic preservation, Sullivan Renaissance programs, green and sustainable resources, gardening, beautification and community development efforts, and youth activities. 


James Howard Kunstler, an author and critic of suburban sprawl, will deliver the keynote address.  His unique insights will help conference attendees understand the nature of the issues we face and our role in keeping Sullivan County a place worth caring about.  Kunstler is known for his 1993 book “The Geography of Nowhere” and was featured in the documentary “The End of Suburbia.”  His 2005 book “ The Long Emergency argues that declining oil production will result in the end of industrialized society as we know it and require Americans to live in localized, agrarian communities.   His most recent book “World Made By Hand” is a novel about this subject set in upstate New York in the not too distant future.


The conference and expo will bloom with spring flowers, inspiration, and the tools and resources to make a difference in the community.  Conference attendees will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite exhibit.  The Sullivan First Achievement Awards will be presented to individuals, communities and businesses that have worked to enhance the appearance of Sullivan County.  Door prizes will be awarded at the conference conclusion. 


The conference begins at 8:00 a.m. with breakfast and registration.  The program starts promptly at 9:00 a.m. and runs to 1:00 p.m.  Workshops include:


·         Elements of Sullivan Renaissance – The basics of how individuals and groups can get involved in the Sullivan Renaissance program. 

·         Sullivan Renaissance Toolbox – Learn the tools critical to project success including: recruiting and retaining volunteers; easy, no cost fundraising; project management. 

·         Setting the Stage for a Garden – Discover the interesting and useful role of pavers, stone, wood and other hardscape elements for your project.

·         Create a Showing of Flowers – This popular workshop will explore the best use ofannuals, perennials and what you need to know about them. 

·         Playground Projects – Designing the space, choosing equipment, raising money. 

·         Engaging Youth in Your Community – Panel discussion about how to reach out and include young people in your community projects.

·         Using Water Wisely – How todesign low waterand xeriscape garden projects.

·         Living Locally – Tips on how to keep things local: community, food, energy, education.

·         Sullivan County – There and Back Again – Sullivan County Historian John Conway will give a bicentennial lecture about the first 200 years.

·         Historic Preservation Tools – A planning professional will talk about how groups can go about preserving their history.


Workshop space will be limited.  To obtain a workshop registration form, call Sullivan Renaissance office at 845-295-2445; or visit the website at  To send in a registration form, fax it to 845-295-2746; email to; or mail to Sullivan Renaissance, c/o Gerry Foundation, PO Box 311, Liberty, NY 12754.


This is a recycling event; attendees will need to look for the appropriate receptacles.


Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.  Additional funding has been secured by NYS Senator John J. Bonacic and Assemblywoman Aileen M. Gunther. 


For more information, call 845-295-2445.