Every week at the , the Green Committee schedules guest presenters at the Green Tent to help residents learn how to live more sustainably, but these days the committee members are busy getting ready for the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase, coming up on April 21. More than 90 gardens will be open for viewing on the fourth annual garden tour.
I spoke with Green Committee co-chairs, Sherri Akers and Jeanne Kuntz one Sunday morning at the Farmer’s Market. They told me that this year’s giant eco-festival is comprised of six self-guided walking or biking tours to address sustainability in daily living, and it’s all free. Attendees will get the chance to meet do-it-yourself gardeners who willingly share their knowledge and experience.
Members of the Green Committee scoured Mar Vista looking for new properties to include on the tour and are excited to introduce 50 new gardens this year. Volunteers worked tirelessly to gather a group of unique homes that showcase sustainable living through a number of ways: solar panels, rain barrels, vegetable gardens, Xeriscape or drought tolerant landscaping, urban homesteading (like chicken keeping) and more.
Special guest presenters will be on site at many gardens, including HoneyLove.org, Los Angeles County Master Gardeners, The Seed Library of Los Angeles, Native Green LLC, Open Neighborhoods, Tree People, Transition Mar Vista/Venice, Surfrider, and Label GMO’s. Landscape designers, solar installers and service providers will also be at several gardens to answer questions and share information.
So how do you find your way around all 90 gardens on the tour? The Green Committee has profiled each garden on the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase blog, and has tagged each garden to help attendees find what they’re looking for. Want to see all the vegetable gardens? Click on the “Edible” tag. Interested in finding out more about native plants? Click on the “California Native” tag.
But wait, there’s more! The Green Committee has posted a nifty QR code that you can scan with your mobile device to gain instant access to the garden tour map. Or print out the maps ahead of time on the garden tour blog site and plot out your path. The recently delivered Mar Vista Community Council newsletter also includes a hard copy of the tour map, with short details about what each garden has to offer.
The tour has proven to be a wonderful (and free) way to celebrate Earth Day each year for local residents, with more than 2,000 people attending last year’s tour. It’s sure to be a day filled with great ideas for living the green life.
(Editor's Note: Updated to correct the date of the Mar Vista Green Gardens Showcase to April 21.)