Gardeners of Buffalo's East Side banded together to create the first-ever garden tour on Saturday, July 21, 2018. And it was great.
Mary Vanvorst, a Gardens Buffalo Niagara
(GBN) volunteer, Master
Gardener of the Cornell Cooperative Erie County Program, and all around
mensch (inside joke) helped East Side gardeners through the process of
starting a tour —setting dates, soliciting gardens, coordinating
poster, map, and lawn sign printing, finding donations or sponsors, and
much more. If you've ever volunteered to help run a garden tour, you
know the myriad tasks that have to get done.
|The Berry-Walker Garden|
Mary came to the group after having developed and planned GBN's Buffalo Beyond Flowers Sustainability in Action
and the East Side Momentum
bus tours. Both tours featured unique gardens and projects on Buffalo's
East side, and Westside, that demonstrate urban farming, community
gardening, land reclamation through native species plantings, composting
facilities, water reclamation projects, and much more. These tours take
place in August and are now run by Explore Buffalo
|The Hodge Garden|
East Side gardeners embraced to idea and ran with, quickly garnering
40+ gardens. An impressive start for a first-time tour. Gardens Buffalo
Niagara was secured as a 501(c)3 pass-through, and for promotional
support, as well as a web presence on its (this) site. The group also
received a generous donation from an anonymous donor, helping to defray
Buffalo's newest garden tour was born!
group had me (I'm a graphic designer) design their logo, flyers, lawn
signs and map. I could not be happier that I had even the smallest part
in helping make it happen.
I did get the “warm fluffies” when I
saw so many people out in gardens, appreciating the efforts of the
gardeners and getting to know one another. Who’d have thought white
folks with maps walking through the Fruitbelt could bring tears to one's
|The Lott Garden|
One unique thing I noticed is that the gardeners were so
very proud of their gardens that they were more likely to personally
show visitors around their gardens and point things out, rather than on
most other tours where gardeners are still friendly and approachable,
but generally give visitors space and time to wander about. On this
tour, it seemed as though most gardeners wanted to grab you by the hand
and walk you through their gardens and show you what they see! I loved
Whether it's in East Aurora, or on the East Side, it's always great to see people bond over a common interest in gardening. Buffalo's East Side has a large African American population, but is much more diverse than most think.
|The Elek Garden|
any other garden tours that have no lofty garden criteria, no judging,
and no fees to enter, there were some gardens that shone brighter than
others. That's part of the exciting part though—over time gardeners "up
their game", some gardeners encourage neighbors and friends to
participate, and that makes a great tour greater. We've seen it over and
over again in garden tours across the region.
Mary and the east Side volunteer group should feel tremendously
satisfied to have been the spark (and the glue) to make it happen.
all hoping it becomes its own thing with its own leader(s) and
volunteers—and funding sources. That’s the only way it’ll become
sustainable. And I think it has a good shot now that Mary's efforts made
the first one happen. There is an audience and appetite for it.
|The Brown Garden|
was no small undertaking. The GBN board is grateful to Mary and the
gardeners of the East Side (and in awe). I, having been involved in
garden tours and tourism for more than 20 years, could not be more proud
of anything that the dozens and dozens of volunteers have done over the
decades, than I am of these gardener's efforts with this tour.
new tour, in my mind, helps fulfill Garden Walk Buffalo founder Marvin
Lunenfeld’s vision of a democratic, egalitarian approach to a community
effort through gardening. That vision seems more “whole”, now that more
of Buffalo is a part of it, and it will only grow. Especially a part of
Buffalo that’s been not been appreciated as it should be over the years.
East Side Garden Walk gardeners—I am your biggest fan.
|The Thompson Garden.|
|Futures Academy Community Garden|
|The Berry-Walker Garden.|
|The Berry-Walker Garden.|
|The Wilson Street Farm. I bought some tomatoes here.|
|Chestnut Garden–Tony had ice cream!|
|The Berry-Walker Garden.|
|The Elek Garden|
|The Fabiniak Garden|
|The Bolden Garden|
|The Garner Garden|
It's no too late to register for the specialty bus tours:
- Buffalo Beyond Flowers
Saturday, August 4, 2018, 10am
see how Buffalo is going green – from a multi-million dollar project on
Lake Erie to ecological renewal at the Central Terminal and an urban
farm on the City’s West Side. Enjoy visiting a series of environmental
successes and meet the individuals who made them happen. General
Admission: $35; Explorer Pass Holders: $30. Admission includes
docent-led tour, round-trip transportation with bus driver tip, plus a
- East Side Momentum
Saturday, August 11, 2018, 9am
East Side is an area of distinct and evolving neighborhoods. Come visit
a variety of sites that reveal its diversity. Project leaders will tell
the stories behind sites including the Tu Hieu Buddhist Cultural
Center, the Wilson Street Urban Farm, Pelion Community Garden at City
Honors High School, and the ‘None Like You/We Care’ Community Center
that pretty much does it all. General Admission: $25; Explorer Pass
Holders: $20; Admission includes docent-led tour and round-trip
transportation with bus driver tip.
What a faboulous selection of gardens! I would love to have a garden tour so inspirational and a but humbling.ReplyDelete
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