Two of Buffalo’s great horticultural events are merging into one for 2014. Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the United States, and the National Garden Festival, the first multi-week festival devoted to horticultural tourism in the United States, have entered into an agreement with which Garden Walk Buffalo will absorb the National Garden Festival’s annual schedule of events, and expand its mission as a horticultural organization promoting the Buffalo Niagara area’s green assets to both residents and visitors.
“As we looked ahead to celebrating Garden Walk Buffalo’s 20th anniversary in 2014, our Board of Directors felt it was time to take stock of our role in the community,” said Cindy Loomis, Garden Walk Buffalo Board President. “We’ve felt that the time had come to build on the success we’ve had in creating one of the country’s great horticultural events. With this merger, we think we can help create one of the country’s great horticultural destinations.”
Garden Walk Buffalo, founded in 1995 as a weekend event to encourage, promote, and support beautification of the neighborhoods in its West Side Buffalo footprint, has grown in size and stature in its 20-year history. The National Garden Festival was founded in 2010 by dedicated gardeners and gardening enthusiasts who envisioned building on the area’s green assets, including the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks, the 14 area garden walks, and projects like Buffalo in Bloom, the Buffalo Green Fund and Re-Tree. The National Garden Festival was spearheaded by local garden author and speaker Sally Cunningham and a number of volunteers.
“Our weekend gardening event has contributed to the Buffalo Niagara region becoming known as a gardening tourism Mecca,” said Loomis. “We are certain that, with the support of the enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers who have made the National Garden Festival a force with which to be reckoned, we can make Garden Walk Buffalo even greater and Buffalo Niagara an even more compelling horticulture destination.”
“After helping to incubate the National Garden Festival, Visit Buffalo Niagara is thrilled that Garden Walk Buffalo is committed to taking horticultural tourism to the next level,” said VBN Vice President of Marketing Ed Healy. “We believe that Buffalo Niagara’s green scene is a genuine point of difference and competitive advantage, one that gives our region a very real opportunity to tell a new story and create a new brand. We look forward to working with Garden Walk Buffalo on this exciting initiative.”
Quotes in this piece provided by Visit Buffalo Niagara.
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