Garden tours offered at Empire Mine
Sierra Gold Parks Foundation and Empire Mine State Historic Park have a full agenda of events and activities planned over the next several months, a news release states.
Although the parks have been open to the public throughout the entire pandemic, many programs were put on hold. With spring’s arrival, docent-led walks and tours are returning.
Combining history, color and serenity, Empire Mine State Historic Park’s 13 acres of landscaped grounds are a highlight, especially when the springtime gardens are in bloom. Designed in the early 1900s by architect Willis Polk, these estate gardens are among California’s oldest and most unusual, the release states.
To celebrate the springtime displays, docents will lead the garden tours on Saturdays and Wednesdays, from May through September. Visitors may view the formal and informal gardens, the reflecting pools and the grassy walks. New this year, the formal gardens will have monthly themes.
Marsha Lewis, program lead for the garden tours, said in the release that “selecting monthly themes will add a little something extra for our visitors, and keep our tour guides on their toes, as we focus and appreciate our rich botanical resources here at Empire Mine.”
Many specimens on the grounds are thought to have been gifts to the Bourn Family — Empire’s owners from 1869 to 1929 — from their world-traveled friends. Benches provide places to sit, rest, and savor the beauty.
Each month has a theme. May is Asia Heritage Month; June is heritage roses; July is perennials; August is historic plants; and September is fall colors.
Empire’s estate gardens are a contrast to the gold and grit of the mine yard below. The park welcomes approximately 100,000 visitors a year, many from all over the world.
Garden tours at Empire Mine State Historic Park will begin at 10:30 a.m. every Saturday and Wednesday. The park is at 10791 E. Empire St., Grass Valley, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 to the park.
Source: Sierra Gold Parks Foundation and Empire Mine State Historic Park
KNOW & GO
WHAT: Public garden tours, led by state park tour guide volunteers
WHERE: Empire Mine State Historic Park Visitors Center, 10791 E. Empire St., Grass Valley
WHEN: May to September, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. beginning today
INFO: Free with $5 admission to the park
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