Community garden to host Eco-Fair

By Amanda Arroway | News Editor

CAPTION

COMING SOON: A sign hangs on the fence surrounding the community garden located near the Math and Science Building on upper campus. Faculty and students involved with the project hope the garden will provide an outdoor lab and eventually yield organic fruits and vegetables.

Riverside City College’s new community garden will be the center of attention during this year’s “How-to-Garden” tour and Eco-Fair.

The event is being put on by the The Wood Streets Green Team. Events are scheduled to begin with an Eco-Fair held at RCC on April 21 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Representatives from Riverside Community Gardens, as well as Riverside County Master gardeners and Master Composters are expected to be present to answer gardening questions. Riverside Public Utilities will also be present to answer questions and provide information about landscape rebates.

The Eco-Fair plans to spotlight the new RCC Community Garden, letting visitors check out plans for the garden and speak to organizers about their opportunities to get involved.

Many local groups will be on site to help connect volunteers to various local gardenrelated community projects.

Several other community groups committed to sustainability will be present, such as the Riverside Food Coop, the California Native Plant Society, the Santa Ana Watershed Association and the Riverside Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Refreshments will be provided by RCC’s Sustainability Collective beginning at 11:30 a.m. They will also be working on kid-friendly projects such as seed starting and making seed balls.

After the Eco-Fair, The Wood Streets Green Team will be hosting a tour of three private gardens within the Wood Streets neighborhood that demonstrate sustainable gardening techniques in action. A local expert will be on hand at each garden to answer any questions.

There will also be assorted workshops lead throughout the day showcasing water efficient landscaping, edible landscaping, drip irrigation, succulent gardening, fruit preserving, and artistic garden design.

The first stop scheduled on the “Howto-Garden” tour will feature a workshop on succulent design with gardening experts Yvonne and Buck Hemenway.

A presentation on designing with succulents will be led by the Hemenways beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Another stop on the tour will feature native and California-friendly plants with a presentation on arranging stones artfully in the garden led by Carol Boyd beginning at 1:30 p.m. Retired Botanist Steve Boyd will be on site to answer questions.

The final stop will demonstrate edible gardening with a backyard veggie garden and a presentation on how to make jam.

Master Gardener Kathy Swanson will be present, and Ann Richmond from Juniper Jammery will be teaching visitors how to make fruit preserves beginning at 2:30p.m.

Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey will lead a bike tour of the community gardens that is scheduled to leave RCC at 1 p.m.

The Wood Streets Green Team is encouraging everyone to find “green” ways to take the tour, such as cycling, walking, or carpooling.

Bicycle parking will be available to those that ride bikes to each of the gardens, and Green Team buttons will be given to anyone who rides a bike, walks or carpools.

For the tour, The Wood Streets Green Team has suggested a donation of $5 that will help fund community garden efforts. Tickets can be purchased at any of the tour sites on the day of the event.

The Wood Streets Green Team is also looking for volunteers for the day’s events, to distribute maps and collect donations from visitors.

Volunteers do not need to be expert gardeners, but rather supporters of sustainability in the community.

The day is split into two shifts for volunteers, from 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.,or 1:15 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Those interested in volunteering should e-mail Jessie Fuller at jessie.fuller@gmail.com with their full name and which shift they’re able to volunteer for.

Additional information about the Wood Streets Green Team and the “Howto-Garden” tour can be found at http://www.woodstreetsgreenteam.org or by calling (951) 505-0172.