GardenWalk Buffalo a few months ago in a blog entry about Garden Tourism.
It's this coming weekend, Saturday July 27th and Sunday July 28th, and it's the largest open and free garden tour anywhere. See "Garden walks delight many across six Buffalo Niagara communities" from the Buffalo News.
GardenWalk is held in conjunction with a separate National Garden Festival, which lasts for six weeks, starting June 21st and going through August 4th.
Each weekend there is a different garden walk tour, and 1,000+ gardens are open to touring over the course of the 15 weeks.
In June they had garden-related art fair (something that I recommended for Brookland a long time ago, to leverage their House and Garden tour and the Greater Brookland Garden Club).
Flickr photo right by Joe Tecza.
One element of the GardenWalk Buffalo program are beautification grants (not unlike how the St. James Court Art Fair in Old Louisville neighborhood in Kentucky funds community improvements from money they make sponsoring the fair) for projects across the city.
Overall the program is a great example of ground up civic engagement, community building and community improvement initiatives that are done through the equivalent of community organizing, rather than as top-down government initiatives.
Buffalo is Going Green for Garden Walk" from the Buffalo Rising blog.
The art fair and coordinated architectural lighting, along with the longer National Garden Festival, plus the beautification grants, and the tourism promotion program are good examples of how to leverage multiple elements of an "event" so that there is much greater and longer lasting impact.
According to a 2011 piece in the Buffalo News (reprinted in this blog entry from the Art of Gardening):
ZIP code collection by Visit Buffalo Niagara during last year’s Garden Walk Buffalo indicated that 24 percent of attendees came from outside Erie and Niagara counties. A survey showed an average of $68 was spent by each visitor on food, tickets to other culturals and incidentals. With crowds estimated at 50,000 to 55,000, that means a direct economic impact of $3.4 million to $3.7 million.
- Jim Charlier page, Garden Talk Buffalo blog
- "Garden tourism benefits the economy and much more," Buffalo News
- "Britain's parks and gardens prove big draw for tourists," The Guardian
- ONTARIO GARDEN TOURISM STRATEGY - Ministry of Tourism
- Garden Tourism: Definitions, Concepts and Examples, European CulTour project