Ballard Exploration Company, Inc. will present the 12th Annual Illuminated Garden on Thursday, February 23rd Friday, February 24th and Saturday, February 25th, 2017 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm in Ballard Park.  The free event features thousands of lights displayed on the trees and unique features of Ballard Park’s three acre quarry meadow.

In addition to lights set up by professional tree climbers, there will be exhibits by students enrolled at Cluny School, Rogers High School, Thompson Middle School and St. Michael’s Country Day School.  Friends of Ballard Park ran after school programs at the Newport Community School and Middletown COZ at Gaudet Middle School this winter.  Children made villages out of recycled boxes which include a replica of Fort Adams and a winter village.

The 12th Annual Illuminated Garden is free and open to the public.  The event is sponsored by Bartlett Tree Experts, the City of Newport, National Grid, the Rhode Island House of Representatives and the Rhode Island State Senate and co-sponsored by A1 Roofing & Construction, Discover Newport, McGrath Clambakes, Inc., Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed and TJ Brown Landscape.

Ballard Park is located at the intersection of Hazard & Wickham Roads in Newport, RI.    The event may be accessed through the Hazard Road entrance with parking available in the Rogers High School lot on Wickham Road.  Event goers are advised to wear appropriate shoes or boots as the trails may be dark, muddy and uneven in places.  Check www.ballardpark.org for weather closings.

Friends of Ballard Park is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, maintaining and promoting Newport’s Only Nature Preserve. Cultural events and educational programming help to promote stewardship of the park and decrease negative park activities.

For more information on the event visit www.ballardpark.org or call 401.619.3377.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).