GreenUtica announces that it is the official host and organizer of the 2023 GreenUtica Garden Tour along with the committee chaired by event founder, Mischael McKenna. The tour, which was fashioned after Garden Walk Buffalo, is in its thrid year and is a free walking/driving tour of home and business gardens in Utica on Saturday, September 9 from 10a.m. to 3p.m. This year, the hope is to increase garden participants from 65 to 100. Utica residents with gardens in Downtown Utica, East Utica, and South Utica neighborhoods to register for the tour by going to greenuticagardentour.org.
There are no specific criteria for gardens, according to Gina Pearce, executive director of GreenUtica. They can be a community garden or a garden at a home or business. They can be a front, side or back yard garden or even a porch with beautiful containers. They do not have to be perfect, and the garden size does not matter.
"Growing and tending to trees, vegetables and flowers have incredible mental and physical benefits and a positive impact on our environment, while providing food and a beautification outcome for the city," Pearce said. "Our short-term goal for the GreenUtica Garden Tour is to celebrate the art of gardening while creating a sense of community and enthusiasm for the hobby. Our longer-term goal includes growing the event while teaching more people how to garden, celebrating our city, attracting tourism, and increasing civic pride--all resulting in enhanced quality of life in Utica and Oneida County."
To be a garden on the tour, participants simply need to register at greenuticagardentour.org. Then they will receive a Tour Sign on their lawn and their address and a brief garden description will be on the tour map. Some gardeners like to greet participants and discuss their garden. Others simply open their yard and let people view on their own. Current garden clusters are in the downtown, east and south Utica neighborhoods, but if there is enough participation in other neighborhoods, the tour will expand.
On tour day, the GreenUtica office at 1641 Genesee Street and the Utica Public Library at 303 Genesee Street will be tour headquarters offering map pick-ups and restrooms for the public. People can start the tour at either location. Typically, people drive to a starting point, walk the neighborhood tour stops, then drive to another neighborhood.