An effort to connect people and preserve the gardens of Sebastopol City Hall and the Sebastopol Regional Library has created a colorful and educational tool for the community. Through the combined efforts of Petaluma based organization Daily Acts, the City of Sebastopol and the Sebastopol based company Permaculture Artisans, the municipality gardens are growing and thriving.

Coined the Stewardship Day, the gathering and gardening was created to teach the public new skills, learn about native, drought tolerant plants and edible gardening, all while connecting with the city and it’s local community.

The last gardening gathering was Feb. 17 and Camp Meeker resident Lexi Ward crouched in the soft dirt on Bodega Ave. chatting with another young woman while weeding. Ward said she had heard of the project while working with Daily Acts on another event and wanted to jump in.

“I like to volunteer whenever I can for any sustainable projects that I can get my hands on,” Ward said.

Weeding with Ward was Erin Scabuzzo who just moved to Sebastopol weeks ago and wanted to attend the gathering to meet new people.

“This is a way to meet new friends and I’ve already made friends, which I am excited about,” Scabuzzo said pointing her spade in Wards direction.

Programs Coordinator for Daily Acts Michael Sturgis also joined in on the pulling of weeds and said that the Stewardship Day was created to model solutions in high public and high profile spaces so that people who go to city hall and the library can see the creative results of sustainable projects.

The overall design of the gardens surrounding the Library were done by Daily Acts and Permaculture Artisans and the organizations are working together to design the final section of native plants in the back of the building, which will be installed on Saturday, April 2.

“We will be planting things such as Elderberries, California Poppies, Toyon, Oaks, Redbuds and all sorts of native plants that were useful medicinally or used for building or basketry,” Sturgis said.

The garden planted in February on Bodega Ave. in front of the fountain is the Luther Burbank section, which showcases the unique plants the local innovator is known for.

The section of garden on High Street is the Pioneer Section which shows plants that pioneers brought over in covered wagons. Sturgis said the garden is a model and hopefully will become an ongoing educational opportunity for the community. He said the garden offers the opportunity for the public to be hands on with the project.

“Even if we are not here on a work day, and there is work to be done, weeds to pull or something needs to be harvested, there is a lot of oregano out back, “ he said. “If you are making some spaghetti, feel free to harvest some.”

Sturgis said he only asks that the community harvests mindfully. Otherwise, the garden is for the community and everyone is welcome to take part on the workdays and on other days as well.

Published by Sonoma West Times by Krista Sherer (with photo credit)

Image: Lexi Ward on the left and Erin Scabuzzo became fast friends working together on the Luther Burbank section at the volunteer gardening project outside the Sebastopol Library Feb. 17.