Mark your calendar for the 29th Annual Spring Garden Festival on Sunday, May 7, 2017, 9 a.m.to 4 p.m., on The Arts Center Plaza, 7th and Madison. Each year. the Festival features dozens of vendors and information booths offering gardening products, advice and inspiration that will help you limber up your green thumb.
This year's Festival is sponsored by a working group of organizations and volunteers, including the Master Gardener program, Corvallis-Albany Farmers’ Markets and the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition.
This group is seeking volunteers to help stage this improtant community event. The following is a message from Serena Kapuler, one of the leaders of the group:
For more information:
Contact Serena Kapuler
Volunteer groups seeking to continue the Spring Garden Festival, run on the first Sunday of May for 29 years by the Madison Avenue Task Force(MATF), have found a community volunteer to help the festival rebloom in 2017.
Serena Kapuler, who works at First Alternative Cooperative Grocery and produces two dance shows at the Majestic each year for Tart of theValley Burlesque, will lead a diverse group of individuals and organizations pitching in to make sure the Spring Garden Festival continues.
In addition to an array of nursery vendors, the festival has included a display of horticulture topics by OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers, gardening advice, and other nonprofit educational activities.
A key event for Corvallis plant lovers, the festival was a great source of inspiration. To complement the plants they hauled home in boxes and wagons, visitors also could find garden art and lots of education.
“My family has been involved selling organic seeds and plant starts at the festival since I was a kid. ” Kapuler said. “It’s a positive and invigorating event each spring. We need more community gatherings, not fewer. And growing food is freedom!”
The festival, which began in 1988, was the brainchild of the Madison Avenue Task Force, a civic group dedicated to creating “a place for people in the heart of Corvallis” and fostering a greater connection between campus and downtown. It took place on the Arts Center Plaza and for most of its history was scheduled to coincide with “Moms’ Weekend,” now Family Weekend at OSU.
Vendors learned in May 2016 that the MATF was not able to continue producing the festival. The MATF’s energies were needed for the Gateway Walk project, a 10-year effort that will create a pedestrian promenade in Madison Avenue between 9 th Street to the OSU Campus Gates at 11 th Street. The Gateway Walk is a collaboration of the MATF, OSU and the City of Corvallis. It is scheduled for construction this summer.
Last fall, representatives from other partner organizations and some vendors began meeting to map out the work to see if the Spring Garden Festival could continue under different management.
A working group of several organizations and volunteers has been reaching out to festival vendors and restructuring the work to fit a somewhat more decentralized system. The working group includes the Master Gardener program, Corvallis-Albany Farmers’ Markets and the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition.
But time was running short to produce an event this year. Creating a leadership structure in time to make proper use of those volunteers is essential. Without someone to manage volunteer efforts, the group could not ensure that the festival would be a positive experience for everyone. The working group still needs volunteers willing to oversee portions of the task list in collaboration with Kapuler.
“This is a valuable and educational event for the entire Corvallis community,” said Rebecca Landis, market director for Corvallis-Albany Farmers’ Markets. “We are so happy that Serena Kapuler stepped up in the nick of time.”
Organizations and individuals interested in working on the festival should contact Kapuler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See You at the Festival!!
The Spring Garden Festival is a great family event.