DALLAS, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dallas Arboretum is planting a seed and asking North Texas youth to spread the message of National Public Gardens Day. Together with Rain Bird®, the leading manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services, and the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), the Arboretum is sponsoring an essay contest for local 1st-8th graders aimed at exploring the various ways public gardens impact the community. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130328/DA85185LOGO) National Public Gardens Day is scheduled for May 10, the Friday before Mother's Day, and focuses on the importance of building sustainable environments through improved plant management and water conservation. The essay prompt, " Why is a Public Garden, like the Dallas Arboretum, Important for Dallas," will target three groups:
1 st – 3 rd graders
4 th – 6 th graders
7 th – 8 th graders
One winner from each group will be chosen. The winning students will receive 20 passes to the Dallas Arboretum for their family and friends; a sprinkler system dedicated to their school from Rain Bird, for use in their own school garden, or a mutually agreeable public garden of their choosing; and recognition during an award ceremony on May 10 at the Dallas Arboretum. "Our mission has always been to build and maintain a public garden and arboretum which promotes the art, enjoyment and knowledge of horticulture, while providing opportunities for education and research," said Mary Brinegar, President and CEO of the Dallas Arboretum. "We are pleased to be among botanical gardens nationwide celebrating a commitment to education, research and environmental stewardship vital to people's appreciation and understanding of the irreplaceable value of plants."To submit an essay, students should visit http://www.dallasarboretum.org/essaycontest and fill out the attached form. The 1 st – 3 rd graders are being asked to submit an essay of 50 words with a drawing, while 4 th – 6 th graders may submit a 100-word essay, and 7 th-8 th graders can submit a 250-word essay. Illustrations may also be included. Essays must be submitted online or by mail by 5:00 p.m.April 30 and winners will be selected prior to the ceremony on May 10."National Public Gardens Day will showcase the achievements and expertise provided by public gardens," said Casey Sclar, Executive Director of the APGA. "Public gardens play an increasingly important role in educating present and future generations while providing a low-cost, entertaining, and beautiful community," he added.For more information on National Public Gardens Day, visit www.nationalpublicgardensday.org. ABOUT THE DALLAS ARBORETUM The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218. The lush 66-acre public botanic garden promotes the art, enjoyment and knowledge of horticulture, while providing a low-cost, entertaining and beautiful community outing. The Dallas Arboretum was founded in 1984. Open daily from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, general admission is $15.00/adults, $12.00/seniors 65 and over, $10.00/children ages 12 –3 and free for Arboretum members and children 2 and under. For more information, call 214-515-6500 or visit www.dallasarboretum.org.ABOUT RAIN BIRD CORPORATIONBased in Azusa, Calif., Rain Bird Corporation is the leading manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services. Since its beginnings in 1933, Rain Bird has offered the industry's broadest range of irrigation products for farms, golf courses, sports arenas, commercial developments and homes in more than 130 countries around the world. Rain Bird has been awarded more than 130 patents, including the first in 1935 for the impact sprinkler. Rain Bird and The Intelligent Use of Water is about using water wisely. Its commitment extends beyond products to education, training and services for the industry and the community. Rain Bird maintains state-of-the-art manufacturing assembly facilities in the United States, France, Sweden and Mexico.