by Connie Oswald Stofko
“The response we always get is, ‘I had no idea these things were happening,'” said Mary Van Vorst.
That’s the reaction from people who went on the Beyond Flowers Tour and the East Side Momentum Tour. Van Vorst is one of the volunteers who helped organize these bus tours, which are part of Gardens Buffalo Niagara, the group that organizes the garden walks and Open Gardens.
The Beyond Flowers Tour will show you eight sites in the City of Buffalo that are helping the environment through gardening, farming and innovative solutions to environmental problems. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. The cost is $35 and includes a box lunch.
The East Side Momentum Tour introduces diverse, often overlooked, individual and community projects that have multiplied in this area of Buffalo, including urban farms, parks and a Buddhist community center garden. It will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13. The cost is $25 and includes a box lunch.
Van Vorst notes that you can visit all of these places on your own– All of the information for the locations on the tours is on the Gardens Buffalo Niagara website.
But the advantage to taking the tour is that a person who is involved with each project will be at the site to provide an explanation of the project and to answer your questions, she said.
“There’s nothing like getting the story from the one who has the passion for the project and who created it in the first place,” Van Vorst said.
Another advantage to taking the tour is that you don’t have to map out the route. People who took the tours in the past said that while they had read about these places, they didn’t know how to get there.
Van Vorst asks that people who are interested in taking either or both of the tours sign up immediately. If the organizers don’t get enough people to sign up, the tour could be canceled.