Campaign to grow Sonoma Garden Park

Posted on April 23, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Sonoma Ecology Center will launch a fundraising campaign, dubbed ‘It Takes a Community,’ to support Sonoma Garden Park at a Community Summit at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, the day of the garden’s annual open house and plant sale.

“Over the past 20 years, we’ve transformed the property from an abandoned orchard into a vibrant hub of learning and activity,” said Richard Dale, director of Sonoma Ecology Center, which manages Sonoma Garden Park. “We’re committed to ensuring the park continues to serve and benefit the people of Sonoma Valley, but we can’t do it without your help.”

The parcel at 19996 Seventh St. E. was a gift to the city of Sonoma from the late Pauline Bond. The 6.1-acre working farm and model of sustainable agriculture serves as SEC’s educational campus.

“Like so many places that we love, financial concerns threaten the sustainability of Sonoma Garden Park,” Dale said.

Because Sonoma Garden Park is an irreplaceable resource for the entire community, Dale said, it requires the support of the entire community. “Over the years we have built a park that embraces a beautiful community vision for the space. What we’ve come up against is that the Ecology Center can’t carry the financial responsibility for operating the park alone any longer. We need help if the park is to continue.”

Everyone is invited to come and learn how to help sustain this important community resource. The summit will last about an hour, followed by a guided tour of the park. Participants can reap the benefits of the park by buying sustainably-grown produce and plant starts, and learn about spring food gardening through a free public workshop. The Open House and Plant Sale will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Come for the summit, stay for a tour and take advantage of a tremendous selection of native and drought-tolerant plants, vegetable starts and more,” Dale said.