National Garden Monthâ„¢ 2007 On Your Mark, Get Set, GROW!

Contact: Rose Getch
National Gardening Association
(800) 538-7476, ext. 129

Warner Johnson
Director of Public Information
NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
(212) 360-1311

South Burlington, VT (August 25, 2006) - The National Gardening Association (NGA) is pleased to present National Garden Monthâ„¢ 2007, the five year anniversary of a month-long garden party that happens across the country each April. To see all the best that gardening has to offer, plan to be in New York City, the host city for the second year in a row. The scheduled date for the festivities is Saturday, April 28, 2007.

"New York City opened its heart to gardening this past April," said Mike Metallo, president of NGA "What a difference people can make when they see the value of connecting with plants - children grow, communities blossom, urban areas spring to life. Gardening in community brings out the cooperative spirit and allows us to share our cultural identities, and this stimulates individual and neighborhood growth. New Yorkers understand this. "

"Next spring may be several seasons away but it is never too early to look forward to the blooming of New York City," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "We eagerly look forward to National Garden Month 2007 and anticipate that more flowers will bloom in our City than ever before. We are grateful to our community partners who have worked to bring parks, playgrounds, Greenstreets and community gardens to life with millions of new flowers, shrubs and trees. Throughout the month we will host numerous workshops and lectures to further educate New Yorkers about the many benefits of horticulture."

During a full year of preparation, the city's green groups stepped forward to tell their stories, lent their support and enthusiasm for community gardening, school gardening, rehabilitative gardening, therapeutic gardening, rooftop gardening, and -- not the least of their gardening efforts -- caring for the street trees of New York City. The yearlong preparation was worth it. The National Gardening Association (NGA) verified what it knew all along - urban spaces are ripe for gardening. NGA was delighted to learn and to share with the nation that New York City is green from the ground to the rooftops.

On Saturday, April 29, the first NYC GROWS Garden Festival was the place to be. The sun shone brilliantly, a light breeze played through tree branches in Union Square Park, and thousands of visitors wandered among tents housing green groups offering kid-friendly activities, practical garden products, and environmental information. George Washington, astride his bronze mount, held a basket of flowers in one hand as he overlooked the festivities.

The day began with visitors lining up to photograph a colorful floral arrangement provided by NYC Parks & Recreation proclaiming "I Love N Y". Renowned labyrinth artist Diana Carulli used 350 potted plants to create an enticing winding path for visitors to wander during the day. Artists Jaime Arredondo and Vicki Street shared their talents through a series of hands-on, nature-themed activities for children and families. Garden celebrities Rebecca Kolls, Charlie Nardozzi, Kitty Bartholomew, and Joe Gardener delighted fans with seminars and expert advice.

Throughout the day, representatives from fifty green groups from the U.S., Canada, and Britain taught children about nature and the wonders of gardening, advised apartment dwellers on how to garden in containers, and encouraged everyone to take advantage of rooftops just waiting for soil, seeds, and TLC. Garden authors shared insights and inspiration.

And we get to enjoy it all again in 2007!

New York City Parks & Recreation manages more than 28,000 acres. New York City also has several national and state parks properties, including the Statue of Liberty, and more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds and recreation facilities across the five boroughs. Parks properties range from swimming pools to wetlands and from woodlands to skating rinks. Union Square Park covers 3.593 acres and is located at Broadway to 4 Ave, E. 14 St to E. 17 Sts.

The National Gardening Association (NGA), founded in 1972, is a national nonprofit leader in plant-based education. NGA's mission is to promote school, community, and home gardening as a means to renew and sustain the essential connection between people, plants, and the environment. To fulfill this mission NGA offers publications and programs focused on five core areas: plant-based education, health and wellness, environmental stewardship, community development, and responsible home gardening. For more information, visit

If you are interested in participating April 2007, please note that Union Square Park has limited space and groups are already signing up. For more information, contact

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