Written by Amber Nicholson. Edited by Carly Petrone.
A strong sense of community was in full bloom this past Sunday, June 26th, in the colorful Whiteaker neighborhood.
Eugeneians of all ages enjoyed the delightful summer weather while walking the streets of the Whiteaker for the 17th Annual KLCC Garden Tour. Ten Whiteaker homeowners graciously welcomed visitors into their private backyards to admire their unique gardens.
The tour-goers also enjoyed five public gardens, including the River House Community Garden, which hosted a sustainability showcase and informative demos pertinent to green thumbs and aspiring gardeners alike.
Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy was one of the friendly hosts for Sunday’s tour, as her W 4th Ave garden was number three and a true must see. Major Piercy and her husband David stood in their garden all day (9am-5pm), greeting guests and answering questions. The Piercy’s garden was particularly unique for one very large reason: the massive beech tree that shades most of their backyard. In an interview with Major Piercy, she jokes that the “…tree likes having people admire it.” To view the full interview and hear what is Major Piercy’s favorite thing about her garden, click here.
Buds and blooms (and Mayors) were not the only stars of the tour. There were local organizations manning community booths, home grown musicians adding to the magic of each garden, masseuses peacefully massaging away stress (free of charge) and delectable bites being made with true Eugene love. Outdoor Program, Slow Food Eugene, and School Garden Project of Lane County were among the many booths educating and inspiring tour participants. A local acoustic duo from the band Stagger & Sway enchanted visitors at house number one. To enjoy a video spanning garden number one and highlighting Stagger & Sway, click here. The Eugene Wellness Center provided volunteer masseuses at many of the gardens. The delightful owners of the Red Wagon Creamery happily sold out of all but one flavor ice cream flavor by 3pm.
Ninkasi Brewing Company once again showed community support by giving everyone (over 21) wearing a KLCC Garden Tour sticker $1 off a pint of beer. Most tour-goers chose to end their day at Ninkasi, enjoy a pint or two and a bite to eat. Delacata, the food cart of the day, was set up perfectly inside Ninkasi’s relaxing patio space. Delacata dished up some feisty fried southern food and sold out of many items by 4pm.
The annual KLCC Garden Tour is a benefit organized by dedicated volunteers that funds KLCC public radio. Next year’s neighborhood has yet to be decided, but guessing from the turnout this year, the event will bloom bigger and brighter.