GET READY FOR THE 2013 ECO-NOMIC LIVING EXPO, By Larry Williams UF/IFAS Extension Agent

The 2013 Eco-Nomic Living Expo will be Saturday, February 2nd from 9:30am to 2pm at the Emerald Coast Convention Center at 1250 Miracle Strip Parkway in Fort Walton Beach.

Okaloosa Saves sponsors this annual community event to raise awareness of smart money management and savings and to celebrate America Saves Week.

The Expo features exhibits, free document shredding, free tax preparation assistance for family incomes less than $49,000, workshops and seminars on sustainable living, gardening, money management, healthy living and more. There will be special activities for tees and children. All activities are geared around the theme, “Smart Choices — Money, Home, Health & Environment.”

A few of the seminar topics include: Vegetable Gardening, Retirement Planning, Weight Management Issues, Correct Lawn Management and Backyard Poultry Production. I will provide a seminar titled, “Correct Lawn Management Saves Money,” with emphasis on how to grow a green lawn while keeping some “green” in your pocketbook.

the keynote speaker will be Dr. Victor Harris, UF/IFAS Extension specialist, with the topic, “Winning Ways to Talk about Money.”

Interactive youth activities include: “Animal Ambassadors” an exhibit with live animals from the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. “Fun with Chia pets” teaches about farming and gardening. And “Eco Bot Challenge” will be a fun challenge using robotics. There will be a “Piggy Bank Pageant” for kids 12 and under as well as “Pigs on parade” made by local businesses and organizations. And Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office will provide Safe Assured ID, which is a free identity kit for children.  Master Gardeners will also be on hand to help answer your garden/landscape questions.

A rain barrel workshop will be offered but requires preregistration by calling 689-5850. There are only 15 student slots for this workshop as this workshop includes all materials with participants taking home the rain barrel they make. All other seminars/workshops are free and there is not cost to attend the Expo.

To see a complete schedule and list of sponsors, visit

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