Alta Vista Botanical Gardens has a mission for its 2018 Earth Day Festival landing on April 21 — to make it the best year ever for children and their families.
Nancy B. Jones, director of children’s programs at Alta Vista Botanical Gardens, said the program has grown more popular since its inception more than a decade ago.
After joining the gardens in 2009, Jones began championing the festival. She moved it to the Children’s Garden area where the tables, activities and games were stationed. It started building from there because everyone both young and old enjoyed the interaction of it all, she said.
“Now we have vendors and music,” Jones said. “It really developed from there. We have some very loyal participants who come to the festival.”
Vendors’ wares range from crafts to earth-wise products for consumers. Plants and pottery will also be available for purchase.
The festival is a free family event making it a huge draw for families. Activities for the day include recycled art, painting, crafts, games and more.
Barbecue will be provided by Amigos de Vista Lions.
Musical entertainment includes guitarist Vic Moraga and harpist Karen Hinkson-Buck. Nathan Rosenberg and Sara Christopher will also perform.
What Jones wants most of all is for children to learn how to love their planet.
“We live here, we need to take care of it,” Jones said. “We have to take care of it, or else it’s not going to be here anymore.”
Teaching this concept at an early age is vital so that children can be empowered, she explained.
While guests peruse the 14-acre gardens, they also can learn about horticulture, mainly indigenous plant species.
Jones anticipates anywhere from 500 to 800 attendees for the festival.
“We have a new discovery trail, so the kids can walk around that,” Jones said. “There are so many great things for kids to do, and families can just come and have a good time outdoors and spend time in nature.”
Jones also shared that since 2003, its board has been working on developing the gardens.
“We are all volunteers, and we put lots of time into making it available,” she said. “Members have donated sculptures, donated garden areas, and we have a new program called Adopt a Garden.”
The Earth Day Festival is a time for the community to enjoy the Alta Vista Botanical Gardens and experience the beauty of nature.
For more information about The Earth Day Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 21, visit AltaVistaBotanicalGardens.org. Alta Vista Botanical Gardens is located at 1270 Vale Terrace Drive in Vista.