St. John's, Chico, celebrates 35 years of the Garden Tour

St. John's, Chico, celebrates 35 years of the Garden Tour

On Sunday, April 28, the parishioners at St. John's, Chico, celebrated 35 years of their Garden Tour, the church's biggest fundraiser and community outreach event.

The first Garden Tour was implemented by a group of Episcopal Church Women (ECW) in 1983, and since then the program has flourished beyond church expenses to include funds for outreach ministries, within and outside the church.

The tour was not just a church event but a gathering of hundreds of people within the community. Every year, four to five gardens in the surrounding neighborhoods were offered for viewing. After participants completed the self-guided tour, they all met back at the church for lunch, a plant boutique (pictured above) and a raffle.

Here are a few stats: since the year 2000, the Garden Tour has sold 17,061 tickets and served 14,527 lunches, and over the last 35 years a total of $491,000 has been raised.

Due to the extended impact of the Camp Fire in Paradise, the community of St. John's has been busy with recovery efforts, which is why the Garden Tour committee decided not to hold the Garden Tour this year.

The committee said they "will use this year to re-envision Garden Tour and plan to return next year with a new and improved version."

To read more, here is a full history of the tour and a slideshow of memories.

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