By Adrienne Boudreau:
The region’s two biggest celebrations of local horticulture, Garden Walk Buffalo and the National Garden Festival are merging.
Garden Walk will absorb the National Garden Festival schedule of events in an effort to take horticultural tourism to the next level and streamline the two events.
In the weeks to come Garden Walk will amend its mission statements and begin work on the goals, activities and scheduling of the National Garden Festival.
Garden Walk Buffalo, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, was founded in 1995 as a weekend to encourage, support and assist neighborhood beautification in the West Side. It also assists block clubs and community organizations with beautification project grants. It is the largest, free garden tour in the U.S.
“Our gardening event has contributed to the Buffalo Niagara regions becoming known as a gardening mecca,” said Garden Walk Buffalo board president, Cindy Loomis.
Though most area residents are familiar with Garden Walk Buffalo, the newer National Garden Fest, administered by Visit Buffalo Niagara, may not be as well known. Founded in 2010 by horticulture enthusiasts who hoped to build upon area landmarks and organizations such as the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, the Olmsted park systems, Buffalo in Bloom, Re-Tree Buffalo and the Buffalo Green Fund.
The current festival offers 5 weekends of garden tours, bus and bike tours, education events, a public space makeover project, and a garden art sale, and over 80 open gardens.
“The merger will result in a stronger, more robust horticultural scene in Buffalo Niagara,” said Loomis.