Garden Walk Buffalo (GWB) is happening this Saturday and Sunday, July 27 & 28. Even though the gardens are open only from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. events surrounding its 25th anniversary have already started and will end long after the last gardener puts away their sign for the year.
Costs (there are none!)
The Walk is free and self-guided. No tickets or reservations are required. All you need is a map and a starting point. Even the hop-on/hop-off shuttles are free. You can support GWB by buying merchandise at a headquarters, by dropping some money in a fishbowl there, donate online here, or consider becoming a sponsor for 2020.
Parking is normal weekend street parking for the city of Buffalo. Pay attention to signs and you’ll be fine. Parking is generally available near any garden – though you may end up parking a bit further from areas of concentrated gardens. No worries – you’ll just have to walk a bit further – by beautiful homes and front yard gardens on a nice summer day!
Maps have pretty much everything you’ll need: garden locations; descriptions; the “Looking for anything in particular?” list of features – with gardens listed by Ponds and Water Features, Rock Gardens, Sculpture, Vegetable Gardens; featured in the book “Buffalo Style Gardens“, Wheelchair/Stroller Accessibility; and many others. The map also has the list of merchandise for sale at the main HQs, lists of donors, sponsors, and, importantly, all the shuttle information and routes. There are three ways to get a map.
- Download a PDF here. This map is abridged – there are no garden descriptions, but there are great maps of the total area with smaller maps with gardens clearly marked.
- Visit a select sponsor location found here, click on “WHERE CAN I GET A MAP?.
- Visit a GWB Headquarters location. Keep reading…
Headquarters are staffed with friendly guides that can answer questions for you – where to go, where to park, and what gardens to visit – particularly if you’re looking for specific gardens or garden features (like gardens with native plants for example).
The three main HQs, with maps, restrooms, water, and branded merchandise to purchase are:
- Evergreen Health 206 S. Elmwood Avenue, corner of Chippewa Street
- Buffalo Seminary 205 Bidwell Parkway near Soldiers Circle and Chapin Parkway
- St. Mark’s Church 399 Woodward Ave, Parkside
There are four “satellite” sites that will have maps only:
- First Presbyterian Church 1 Symphony Circle
- West Side Community Services 161 Vermont Street
- The Martin House 125 Jewett Parkway
- The Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court
What’s new this year
There’s a lot going on – from expansion to butterfly releases. Here’s what is new to the Walk in 2019.
- Butterfly Release to kickoff Garden Walk Buffalo will be Saturday, July 27 at 10:00 a.m. on Bidwell Parkway at Elmwood Avenue. Join us as the Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm and the Pollinator Conservation Association release a flutter of butterflies. Also visit 10+ green groups on site to learn more about environmental conservation efforts in the region.
- Expanded footprint of the Walk now includes the Park Meadow and Parkside neighborhoods – on either side of the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Delaware Park.
- A new garden design book release – Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs by authors Sally Cunningham and Jim Charlier (me!) will be available for sale the three main GWB headquarters. The creative design book shows how you can add your own personality and uniqueness to your garden. It features many gardens on the tour.
The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Martin House is on Garden Walk Buffalo. Visitors can walk around the yard and gardens to enjoy the historically restored gardens including the “Floricycle” garden of continuous blooms.
- Explore Buffalo docents will be on each Garden Walk shuttle throughout the weekend, pointing out significant architecture and historic sites. Find out more about Explore Buffalo by visiting ExploreBuffalo.org.
- Merchandise for sale at the three main Headquarters includes the Buffalo-Style gardens book, which is a fund-raiser for GWB (buy lots!), and t-shirts, earrings, posters, garden flags, notepads, tin signs, throw pillows, baseball caps, ornaments, tea towels, canvas tote bags and more. The artwork this year is by Buffalo artist Jody Ziehm.
- Ride the Walk on FREE shuttle buses.
To avoid long waits for shuttles traveling long distances, Garden Walk Buffalo’s eight free hop-on/hop-off shuttles have routes divided into four color zones.
Shuttles have routes divided into four color zones this year that coordinated with the map – RED (A), PURPLE (B), GREEN (C), and BLUE (D). See map art below.
Each garden description has a map color and matching letter (A, B, C, D) and map coordinates (eg., F8) to let you know exactly where to find each garden.
Each color route has two shuttles running loops. If you want to go from a bus in one color zone to another, you’ll have to get off the bus at a transfer point and get on the next color shuttle.For example, in the PURPLE ZONE, there’s a transfer point from the RED ZONE in the south at First Presbyterian Church, one of the Walk’s satellite headquarters; and transfer points on West Ferry Street to get you to the GREEN ZONE shuttles.
All shuttle routes take you to either a main HQ with merchandise for sale, maps, water, and bathrooms, OR a satellite HQ with maps.Plan on heading BACK to your starting point by 3:30 p.m., at the latest, each day.
Explore Buffalo docents will be on board every bus to point out sites of architectural or historical interest. Explore Buffalo will have a table at the First Presbyterian Church HQ site – pick up information about their tours (and leave a generous donation!).
Shuttles run from 10am-4pm. Be on a shuttle by 3:30 to get back to your starting point!
This is how we celebrate 25
- A commemorative floral mural was created by artist Cassandra Ott at 831 Elmwood Avenue, between Lafayette and Lancaster Avenues. The mural celebrates the 25th anniversaries of both the Elmwood Village Association and Garden Walk Buffalo.
- “Garden Walk Buffalo Way” is the new street designation (as of Friday, July 26) given by Buffalo Mayor Brown to Norwood Avenue, between West Utica and Summer Street.
- A granite marker will be placed at the corner of Norwood Avenue and West Utica Street in front of the former home of Marvin Lunenfeld (1934-2012) and Gail McCarthy, founders of Garden Walk Buffalo.
- Pollinator House Competition and silent auction entries will be on display Saturday, July 27 at Elmwood and Bidwell. You can bid on unique and creative bird, bat, bee, bugged butterfly house. Proceeds support The Buffalo Architecture Foundation and Garden Walk Buffalo.
- A visitor-interactive garden mural project will be initiated by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery during this year’s Walk. More information is forthcoming.