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'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.