Today’s news:

Going Green in Queens offers pruning workshop

The borough will be seeing green March 27 at an annual conference on green initiatives that will be hosted by the Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces at Flushing’s Al Oerter Recreational Center.

Going Green in Queens 2010 ´╗┐will run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 27 at the center at 131-40 Fowler Ave. in Flushing. The event, which will include more than 50 environmental groups from across the borough and city, will feature workshops, raffles and the screening of a Sundance Film Festival documentary on soil.

TimesLedger Newspapers will be the event’s media sponsor.

“We’re focusing on things people can do at a local and community level,” said Fred Kress, president of the Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces, of the conference. “It’s a very hands-on event, where we’ll try to get youth and new immigrants involved to show them they can do little things that, in a cumulative effort, can make a huge impact and difference.”

The event, which is in its third year, will offer at least 10 workshops on varied subjects, such as solar energy, composting and tree pruning.

The coalition will also show screenings of the film “Dirt! The Movie,” a documentary which premiered at the Sundance film festival last year. The movie, directed by Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow, was inspired by William Bryant Logan’s book, “Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth,” a tome that features essays on soil.

A number of environmental groups from Queens and Manhattan will converge on the conference, including New Yorkers for Parks, Partnership for Parks,, the Queens Zoo, the Citizens Committee for New York, Trees New York, Bike New York, Build It Green, Friends of Travis Park, the Long Island City Boathouse, the New York League of Conservation Voters, the Queens Citizen Pruner Alumni Association, Green Shores NYC and the Jackson Heights Beautification Group.

Kress said he expects an estimated 750 people to attend the event, which drew 250 people in its first year and more than 600 people last year.

Caswell Holloway, commissioner of the city Department of Environmental Protection, has been invited to be the keynote speaker at the event. A professor from Queens College will also speak during the conference about the restoration of Willow Lake at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Going Green will also include free refreshments and the raffle of an estimated 20 prizes, such as fax machines, pruning saws, birdhouses and various environmentally related items.

Tours of the ice rink and swimming pool at the Al Oerter Recreational Center will also be available during the conference.

Visitors must pre-register at or at

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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