JCRA Arborfest

"Waterwise Choices for Responsible Gardeners"

  • Saturday, April 5, 2008 – 10:00 am4:00 pm

In response to the challenges all North Carolina citizens are facing as a consequence of the current drought, this year's JCRA Arborfest, to be held Saturday April 5 from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, will focus on water management and conservation and green design. Four keynote speakers will provide attendees with the knowledge and tools to improve water management and conservation in residential and commercial landscapes, and to design with "green" as the priority. In addition, the Wake County Master Gardeners will be here to answer any and all plant questions, and the JCRA and various local nurseries and vendors will be selling plants and garden accessories. This promises to be a timely and highly informative program. Please join us.


10:00 AM – Mike Ruck – "Rainwater Harvesting"

11:00 AM – Hal House – "Water Conservation and Reuse: What You Can Do"

12:00 PM – Lunch (not provided) break and rain barrel demonstration

1:00 PM – Frank Harmon, Frank Harmon Architect PA – "Conserving More Than Water: Architecture with a Green Heart"

2:00 PM – Mark Weathington, JC Raulston Arboretum – "Some Like It Hot: Waterwise Plants with Impact"

3:00 PM – Drought tolerant plants tour

Master Gardener "Successful Gardening Clinic"

10:00 AM-3:00 PM – The Master Gardeners of Wake County will be available to help you with your gardening questions and to talk about best gardening techniques practices.


Frank Harmon - Frank Harmon Architect PA, Raleigh

Frank Harmon, FAIA, is an award-winning architect and a professor of architecture at the College of Design, NC State University. A veteran speaker at regional and national design conferences, he has presented versions of his popular "Architects Discuss America's New Regionalism" seminar at the 2005, 2006 and 2007 National AIA Conventions and Dwell Magazine's 2007 "Dwell On Design" Conference. He has served on many design awards juries, including the national jury for the American Institute of Architects' 2005 Institute Honor Awards. He is currently serving on the U.S. General Services Administration's National Register of Peer Professionals to improve public buildings.

Educated at both the N.C. School of Design and the Architectural Association in London, where he studied under James Stirling, Frank worked for Richard Meier in New York before founding his own practice, Frank Harmon Architect, in Raleigh. His work has been featured in numerous national and international journals, magazines, and books on architecture, including The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press), and has been exhibited in the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

As a practitioner, he is considered a leader in the field of sustainable design. In 2005, Frank Harmon Architect was named "Top Firm of the Year" by Residential Architect magazine. More recently, he placed first in a professional design competition to select an architect for the AIA/North Carolina component's new headquarters in downtown Raleigh. He was also featured recently on American Public Media's "The Story" with Dick Gordon (NPR).

Halford House, Ph.D. - Integrated Water Strategies, Apex

Hal House has more than 30 years of water quality and waste management experience, including 20 years in numerous roles of applied science research with agricultural, industrial, municipal, residential wastewater, and water quality issues. He's developed original research, published and presented frequently within local, national, and international forums with a water quality focus. In 2001, he founded Integrated Water Strategies based on a holistic approach to water resource management utilizing regenerative and decentralized design strategies.

Integrated Water Strategies is committed to the development of innovative low impact wastewater and stormwater treatment and reuse technologies to provide for a clean and reliable water supply and beautiful multifunctional landscapes. We strive to empower the individual through environmental education and with a company work environment based on human needs in addition to providing high quality projects.

Mike Ruck - Rain Water Solutions, Raleigh

Mike Ruck, president of Rain Water Solutions, has been collecting rainwater for nearly 15 years. It all started when a rain barrel that his grandfather had made for his grandmother was passed down through the family. Mike and his wife Lynn started Rain Water Solutions and manufacture their own rain barrels from 100% recycled content. They also design and install complete rainwater harvesting systems for residential and commercial clients, helping them make the most out of this precious natural resource.

Rain Water Solutions provides rainwater harvesting systems for residential and commercial applications. Rainwater harvesting (or collection) can simply be described as channeling rainwater via gutters and through piping into a storage tank for later use. The system can be as simple as using a rain barrel. Or, it could be as complex as a total rainwater system to supply all of your water needs.

Mark Weathington, JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh

Mark Weathington is the assistant director and curator of collections at the JC Raulston Arboretum. He earned undergraduate degrees in horticulture and sociology and his M.S. in horticulture at Virginia Tech. He has served as director of horticulture for the Norfolk Botanical Garden and horticulturist at both the Virginia Aquarium and the Atlanta Botanic Garden. Mark writes and speaks on a variety of topics in horticulture. He has been published in Horticulture, Carolina Gardener, American Nurseryman, and Virginia Gardener magazines as well as the Mid-Atlantic Gardener's Book of Lists. In addition, he writes two weekly columns for the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and features for several regional newspapers.

Plant and Craft Sales

If you are looking for a unique plant or item for your garden or home or are looking for a great gift, check out the vendors at this year's Arborfest. Each of the vendors will be sharing part of their proceeds with the JC Raulston Arboretum.

This year's vendors include:

Happy Hollow Farm – perennials
JC Raulston Arboretum – rare and unique plants from the Arboretum
Lakeview Daylily Farm – "signature" woody plants
Nature's Art – botanical illustrations
Pine Knot Farms – perennials

Informational Booths

City of Raleigh – compost and rain barrel exhibit
Department of Horticultural Science – rain barrel demonstration (12:00 PM-1:00 PM)
Gardeners of Wake County
Raleigh Garden Club
Triangle Camellia Society

Lunch and Refreshments

Bring your own lunch to Arborfest or enjoy the hot dogs, sausages, snacks, and drinks available for purchase at Jonesy's Concessions and Catering's food cart.

Rain Date
As with most of the JC Raulston Arboretum's programs, Arborfest will be held rain or shine. Each of the day's presentations will be held in the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center. The vendors and the tour will be located and held outdoors.

Advance registration is not available.
JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Need directions? Click here. Hillsborough Street will be closed on Saturday morning due to the Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon. Please plan on arriving from the south via Method Road or Blue Ridge Road.
Free parking is available at the JC Raulston Arboretum.
Please call (919) 513-7005 for more information about this event.