The Eco-Friendly Garden Tour is a public outreach and education program that promotes sustainable landscaping practices by showcasing inspiring gardens throughout Sonoma and Marin counties. The Tour highlights Russian River-Friendly and Bay-Friendly landscaping best practices, and supports Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper certified professionals by featuring their personal or client’s gardens.
The 2020 tour has more than 25 inspirational gardens throughout Sonoma and Marin counties. Many of the gardens are owned by landscape designers and architects, enhancing the experience for those interested in landscaping their own yards or getting ideas for future landscaping projects. This year’s tour includes a variety of new gardens, a few of which have rejuvenated since the 2017 wildfires that swept through the region. The resilience of native plants have been visible on these properties and are beginning to bloom with color and wildlife, along with the community. The California Native Plant Society - Milo Baker Chapter will be presenting California native gardens throughout Santa Rosa. Each of the gardens will have California native plant experts on hand to provide information to visitors. Several of the gardens will include additional activities such as native plant talks, demonstrations, and a native plant sale at the Laguna Environmental Center.
The grand opening of the Living Learning Landscapes demonstration gardens will be highlighted on the Tour. This project, a collaboration between local non-profits, designed eight new residential scale gardens at the Santa Rosa Junior College, replacing turf with sustainable landscaping. The plans – which are available for free – are adaptable to use in residential turf replacement and landscaping projects. This dynamic project is aimed at improving and beautifying existing landscapes, providing space for hands-on student learning, and serving as a resource and knowledge base for our community through rebuilding and beyond. Representatives from collaborating agencies will be on site for tours and talks throughout the day.
Wildlife corridors will be on display in the gardens hosted by the California Native Plant Society. “Urban corridors to provide habitat for birds, butterflies and other creatures is the focus of our California Native Plant Society sponsored gardens this year,” said Betty Young f from the Milo Baker Chapter. “The Living Learning Landscape gardens on the north side of SRJC, our garden in Roseland near a creek, all provide habitat for creatures struggling to find food, water and protection as they travel from one natural area to another through our urban landscape. The garden we partner with the Laguna Foundation to steward will feature a swath of milkweed to attract Monarch butterflies, which are severely imperiled in coastal California. Each of us can add one or many native plants to their gardens to support our local native feathered friends.”
The event is FREE, registration is required.