USDA "Power Plants" Exhibit Opens at National Arboretum
By Ann Perry
June 20 , 2008
WASHINGTON, June 20--A living outdoor exhibit
showcasing a range of existing and potential bioenergy crops opens on June 21
at the U.S.
National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.
Arboretum visitors will be able to stroll through a well-tended garden
and learn more about the 21 plants on display, which include field crops,
palms, trees, flowering annuals and algae. Interpretive materials will provide
information about how each plant can be used for biofuel production. This
one-acre exhibit is the first of its kind in a U.S. botanical garden.
The U.S. National Arboretum is operated by the Agricultural Research
Service (ARS), a scientific research
agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA Research, Education and Economics
(REE) Under Secretary
A. Buchanan is a strong supporter of the Power Plants exhibit and of USDA
"REE agencies are committed to supporting the development of bioenergy
to the fullest possible extent," Buchanan said. "We’re working on several
fronts, from maximizing favorable plant traits for the efficient production of
biofuels to optimizing cropping systems and conversion techniques, to ensure
that everyone in the United States can benefit from biofuels."
For their part, ARS scientists across the country are studying a wide
array of plants to assess and improve them as sources of cellulosic biofuels.
The scientists also are developing sustainable crop production systems and new
Two other agencies in REE's mission area--the
Economic Research Service and the
Cooperative State Research, Education and
Extension Service--support a range of bioenergy-related efforts. Their
activities include educational and external research efforts and tracking
economic trends associated with biofuel production and development.
“Power Plants” is one component of the REE mission
area’s second annual Bioenergy Awareness Days (BEAD II). This event is
designed to increase awareness and knowledge related to the sustainable
production of agriculture-based and natural resource-based renewable energy. It
also highlights the efficient use and conservation of energy for the benefit of
rural communities and the nation.
The U.S. National Arboretum is located in northeast Washington and is
open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Christmas and New Year's Day.
Admission and parking are free. For more information and for directions, please
see the arboretum's web site at www.usna.usda.gov.