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Sullivan Renaissance Annual Conference, Local Market & Expo

February 11, 2014

[FERNDALE] – Two dynamic speakers will be featured at the Sullivan Renaissance Annual Conference, Local Market & Expo on Saturday, March 8 at the CVI Center in Ferndale.  The conference theme is “Revitalizing Sullivan County – the Difference is You.” 

Sally Cunningham, Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional, will speak about “Native Plants and Eco-friendly Landscapes.”  Natural landscape elements include diversity, layering, water and nectar sources, and balancing pests and predators.  Listeners will be directed to native (and suitable non-native) plants and offered ways to use them in home settings.  The address will include lists of best plant groups for birds, butterflies and other pollinators, as well as the most attractive flowerings shrubs.

Michael Newhard, Mayor of the Village of Warwick, a Communities in Bloom International Winner, will speak about “Transformational Communities.”  Communities are fertile ground for rebirth, revitalization and beautification, as they draw the attention of a new generation.  Beautification can serve as a catalyst and strategy for revitalization.  A community may be seen as a classroom, a gallery, a playground but most importantly as a center for interaction and daily life.  The mayor will describe, from his experience, the components of a successful revitalization effort, the ripple effect of beautification and its intrinsic tie to economic development.

The day will bloom with spring flowers and inspiration, and offer tools and resources to help volunteers make a difference in their communities.  The conference features an expo with gardening and landscaping exhibits, an indoor market filled with local products, the launch of the 2014 program and presentation of the Annual Sullivan First Achievement Awards.

The keynote address will be delivered by Svante Myrick, Mayor of Ithaca, who will share ideas on community revitalization and how communities can take steps toward a better future.

For information, call the Sullivan Renaissance office at 845-295-2445.  To register on line, go to  To download a conference brochure, go to

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.