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Identity & Community

8th Annual Garden in the Parks Event Set For Saturday

Allegheny County’s master gardeners will have a chance to show off their green thumbs and celebrate gardening with an expected 1,000 visitors at the 8th annual Garden in the Parks event Saturday.

The event will take place near the demonstration gardens in North Park and South Park from 9am to 1pm.

Throughout the day, approximately 30 Master Gardeners will be at each site to offer tours of the gardens, answer questions, organize games for children, raffle off gardening tools, and host taste-tests.

The Penn State master gardeners are a crew of volunteers who have completed a certain amount of coursework through the Penn State Extension, an educational network that provides resources to commercial and amateur growers across the commonwealth.

The demonstration gardens showcase a variety of annual plant beds that grow well in western Pennsylvania with minimal maintenance. Each garden has a section for herbs and pollinators, with plants that are bee-friendly. Interim Master Gardener Coordinator for Allegheny County Philip Bauerle said that while South Park’s garden has suffered some deer damage this summer, there will still be plenty to see.

On Saturday, visitors will have opportunities to learn about composting and the importance of pollinators. They will also be able to enjoy garlic, tomato, and basil samples grown by the master gardeners.

For anyone looking for something sweeter, Penn State Creamery ice cream will also be available on site. Kids can enjoy a scavenger hunt and even dig up their own potatoes to take home.

Graduates from the most recent master gardener class will have a chance to present projects grown in their Edible Teaching Garden.

Bauerlee says the event is a great opportunity to draw attention to the many joys of gardening.

“I think gardening should be a celebration every day,” Bauerlee said. “Being able to take a space that was relatively unused and really make it beautiful with flowers and demonstrate what grows well is really part of the Penn State mission.”

The North Park Demonstration Garden is located at the intersection of Wildwood and Ingomar Roads. The South Park location can be found at Corrigan Drive and McConkey Road.

The Allegheny County Master Gardener Program is currently accepting applications for classes.