Buffalo Garden Tour

Buffalo Garden Views

Garden Walk Buffalo goes virtual for 2020

No Walk, but lots to watch

America’s largest garden tour, Garden Walk Buffalo is taking a backseat to covid-19 this year, and deferring to Gardens Buffalo Niagara‘s Buffalo Garden Views.

Gardens Buffalo Niagara (GBN) is the organization behind many of the region’s horticultural tourism events and activities. Among other activities, GBN produces:

In addition, GBN promotes and encourages the other 12-16 other garden tours that happen in Erie and Niagara Counties each summer.

All told, it takes about 1,000 gardeners between all the tours, a few dozen hard-working volunteers, and some great corporate sponsors, and nearly 100,000 visitors to make it all happen.

Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 1.44.16 PM
Another Buffalo summer institution that cancelled this year is the Allentown Art Festival. And this is the year I won their poster contest!
Reaching the decision

It was a tough decision, and one that had to be made before volunteers started the Garden Walk map, which is a huge undertaking by a small number of volunteers putting in dozens of hours – not to mention the expense of design and printing. The greatest priority was being able to make sure all volunteers, gardeners, and visitors were protected from contracting the virus – most of which fall into a corona virus risk category by virtue of age.

Ultimately, any event of this type is under the laws and ordinances of the city, state, and county. We weren’t sure what the status of public gatherings would be at the end of July.

Entertainment events like Garden Walk Buffalo, would fall into the category of festival, parade, or concert. These will be the last type of events to take place during NYS Pause‘s recovery phase. Depending on factors beyond our control, it could very well not happen until the fall. So even if we wanted to still hold the Walk, we couldn’t.

Add to that the fact that one of our headquarter locations said, as much as they liked hosting us each year, they cannot have the general public visiting their facility, as many immune-compromised patients also visit the building. The other two HQs are schools and would not commit to hosting us until right before the event, as they did not already, and will not know what state requirements will be for their own facilities at that time.

GardenViews_logoWhat we’re doing instead

So as not to lose momentum of sharing Buffalo’s gardens for a summer, rather than resting on our laurels (or resting at all), we decided to go virtual. Virtual for us meant more than just photos and videos online. And it includes Garden Walk Buffalo and East Side Garden Walk gardens and gardeners. Here’s a run-down of what we hope to do every day in July:

  • Weekly online giveaways and games (Instagram, Facebook)
  • Shopping experiences
    Launch of GBN’s online store and promoting vendors that weren’t able to participate in June’s Buffalo Style Garden Art Sale.

    Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 1.35.59 PM
    Gardens In Plain View (Downloadable PDFs)
    Strolls to see front gardens any day of the week

    Gardeners’ Eye View (YouTube)
    Gardener-provided content

    Garden Pro InterView (Zoom)
    Interview with a professional

    Open book with Rose on white background.
  • WEDNESDAYS (blog posts)
    Garden Stories by the Buffalo Architecture Foundation and GBN

    Gardens Buffalo Niagara Into View (YouTube)
    GBN video shorts

    Garden Live View (Facebook Live)
    Interview in a garden with a gardener

    Points of View (Recorded Zoom)
    Interview with volunteers and green partners

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