An annual event celebrating the hard-working gardeners of Lakewood, OH
GardenWalk Lakewood (GWL) was founded in 2022 by Claire Campbell - with the backing of a small group of resident volunteers passionate about gardening, community, and the environment. These volunteers organized and promoted Lakewood’s first community-wide garden walk on July 16, 2022, where residents, businesses, and other organizations opened their gardens to the public for free self-guided tours. The first walk included 31 gardens that spanned all neighborhoods in Lakewood. The original garden walk concept was started in 1995 by GardenWalk Buffalo, which is now America’s largest garden tour - and attracts tens of thousands of visitors with more than 300 participating gardens every year!
GWL also hosts yearly plant swaps at Cove Park, where residents can share plants, seeds, and gardening tools at no cost with neighbors. GWL volunteers also maintain the pollinator garden at Cove Park year-round.
Our mission is to create beautiful neighborhoods, share knowledge about best gardening practices to improve our local ecosystems and encourage everyone to start their own garden.
GardenWalk Lakewood aims to support and improve local ecosystems by facilitating the sharing of plants from local gardens, many of which are vital to the health of pollinators. This promotes biodiversity in the city and helps reduce water runoff.
In addition to improving the local ecosystem's health, gardening and gardens have been demonstrated to positively affect mental health. Having access to green spaces is shown to reduce socioeconomic health inequalities by facilitating physical activity and promoting better mental health and well-being.
GWL also aims to encourage and support home gardeners in growing their own food. On our annual GardenWalk tour, many gardens have features such as raised beds, trellised beans and other vegetables, and even chickens. In addition to native pollinator plants, our plant swaps often include vegetable and bean seeds ready to be planted in the spring.
GWL provides opportunities for residents to get to know each other and build relationships. Attending the annual summer GardenWalk is a great way to explore new gardens and green spaces, while building community and meeting new neighbors.
Lastly, all GWL events are free to attend, creating equity in access for residents of all socioeconomic backgrounds. All items shared at GWL swaps are available at no cost, making plants and tools accessible to those who may not have the means to buy them. GWL relies solely on the generosity of donors and is run entirely by volunteers passionate about supporting our community.