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Plant City Observer Sunday, Apr. 23, 2017 1 year ago

Springtime Celebration: Plant City Commons Community Garden to host Earth Day Fest

Earth Day Fest 2017 will be held Sunday, April 23, at the Plant City Commons Community Garden.
by: Emily Topper Managing Editor

In celebration of Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, the Plant City Commons Community Garden will be hosting multiple garden events throughout the week, and garden lovers of all ages are encouraged to attend. 

 Earth Day Fest 2017 will kick off at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 23. The free event will feature local vendors with farm goods and artisan items, as well as live music, children’s activities and food trucks. 

While attendees visit with vendors and wander through the Botanical Treasure Gardens, they can also attend four free workshops throughout the day. 

The first will kick off at 11 a.m. with a presentation on native plant landscaping by Donna Bollenbach, president of the Suncoast Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society. Additional workshops include a presentation by Florida master beekeeper Nancy Ham, a Water Wise workshop by City of Plant City Water Conservation Coordinator Mark Woodard and a solar energy presentation by Pat Mahoney and Jon Butts. 

Garden founder Karen Elizabeth said the event is one of the first major blowouts for the garden, which is located adjacent to Hillsborough Community College at 2001 E. Cherry St. 

“We started planning the event in November,” Elizabeth said. “The vendors and food trucks will be located under the tents, and all of the workshops are free. This is all inclusive, for everyone.” 

The garden has received support from the community for the event. The Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally — which partners with Plant City Main Street for the food truck rallies held in Historic Downtown the last Friday of every month — have donated trucks for the day. 

Elizabeth said attendees are encouraged to bring reusable shopping bags with them while they shop at local vendor stations. The vendors, organized by garden volunteer Laurie McRae, were asked to come to the event by invitation only. 

“What’s neat about it is that it’s all Earth Day related,” McRae said. “The vendors are focused on wellness and health, and we tried to find local vendors.” 

In addition to Earth Day Fest and a presence at the monthly Plant City Main Street Food Truck Rally Friday, April 28, the garden is also partnering with United Way Suncoast for a Hands on Day of Service Saturday, April 29. 

The garden was chosen as one of three Hillsborough County sites

to receive 100 volunteers for a morning of work in the garden. Community members are encouraged to join in on the day of service. 

The garden is seeking sponsorships and monetary or food donations for the event and future events. Projects on the garden’s horizon include clearing growth from pond areas, weeding, spreading compost and mulch and cutting bamboo. 

Sharon Spires and Karen Elizabeth.

For both the Earth Day Fest and the Hands On Day of Service, attendees and volunteers are encouraged to wear long pants, close-toed shoes, sunscreen and hats. 

Contact Emily Topper at [email protected]

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