Community Garden Fair returns to downtown Jamestown

JAMESTOWN – It will be a few more weeks before trees start budding and flowers start blooming, but a community garden fair on March 23 will help Jamestowners plan and prepare for the upcoming growing season.

The second annual Grow Jamestown Garden Fair, running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Dr. Lillian Ney Renaissance Center at Washington and West Third streets in downtown Jamestown, will feature exhibits and workshops with useful information for new gardeners as well as the city’s veteran green thumbs. The event is free and open to the public, with free Saturday parking available throughout downtown.

Exhibits at the fair will feature products and services from local landscapers and garden centers, as well as information on gardening initiatives under way at several organizations. Workshops, which begin at 10:30 a.m. and will run throughout the event, will focus on such topics as garden planning, community gardening, landscaping and backyard wildlife.

The garden fair is a part of the GROW Jamestown movement to promote gardening and landscaping as a way to build stronger neighborhoods and encourage healthy lifestyles. GROW Jamestown began in 2011 with a front garden recognition program and is expanding in 2012 to include a wide range of initiatives.

“Gardening and landscaping are great ways to make Jamestown a healthier and more attractive community,” said Peter Lombardi of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, which is organizing the event with help from several local partners. “This event is designed to provide the public with useful information, but also to connect the individuals, organizations and businesses that have an active interest in promoting a more verdant Jamestown. We are hoping to build on the successes of our first garden fair by working with some of the great partners from last year while developing opportunities for new experiences this year.”

Businesses currently scheduled to attend include Mike’s Nursery, Robert’s Nursery, Marlinski Landscaping, Garden Works of Western New York, The Home Depot, and the Secret Garden Flower Shop. Planet Earth Catering will perform vegetable cooking demonstrations and Bruce Robinson, a local forestry consultant, will provide a workshop on backyard wildlife.

Local organizations participating in the event include Chautauqua County Master Gardeners, the Jamestown Garden Club, Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play, Jamestown Audubon, the Jamestown Farmer’s Market, Prendergast Library, the city of Jamestown’s Urban Forestry Program and BOCES.

Information on GROW Jamestown and the garden fair can be found on the JRC Web site, at www.jrconline.org, or by calling 664-2477.