Seventh Annual Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk Set for July 19

By Jessica Biegaj

Release Date: July 2, 2008 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The seventh annual Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk showcasing 50 gardens in the University Heights and Eggertsville neighborhoods will be held on July 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the neighborhoods near the University at Buffalo South (Main Street) Campus.

The event has grown each year and is coordinated in collaboration with the University at Buffalo Office of Community Relations, the University Heights Collaborative and the Eggertsville Community organization.

Headquarters for the walk is Allen Hall on the UB South Campus where there will be plenty of free parking, restrooms and maps for attendees. Maps also will be available at the University Community Farmers Market, located in the Allen Hall parking lot at the Main Street and Kenmore Avenue intersection, until 1 p.m.

"I participate in the Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk not only because I'm a 'budding gardener,' but because I want to invite others to see the love and care that city dwellers devote to our properties. We invite people to come and see some of Buffalo's hidden treasures," says Sharon Green, University Heights resident and Garden Walk committee member, who provides a euonymus cutting to those who visit her garden.

This year's walk will showcase gardens with various attractions, including fish ponds and other water features, sculptures, gazebos, organic and native plants in Japanese, English and Cottage-style garden designs. Other gardens are entirely grassless or center around rock and boulder elements.

Participants, who receive a discount at Snyder Ridge Landscaping, are award-winning gardeners who are proud to show off the work they do in their yards. Some offer food to visitors or small cuttings of the plants.

"I am using this year's Capen Garden Walk as an opportunity to showcase something else that I am passionate about, my cooking. To celebrate the launch of my in-home, Italian cooking class business, I will be preparing and serving (free of charge) a selection of traditional foods. A few of these dishes will include various bruschettas, hand-stretched pasta and my famous tiramisu," said Dan Miller, who lives on University Avenue. He and his wife, Keilka Salsbury, converted their yard from grass and dirt to an eclectic garden with a water feature, butterflies and an Italian feel, and participate in the Garden Walk as a yearly summer tradition. "It continues to be an excellent opportunity for us to meet and connect with neighbors and fellow gardeners alike. The Garden Walk is the only event that brings together the diverse streets within the University Heights and bordering suburb through a common, creative medium."

The namesake of the walk, Samuel P. Capen, was the first full-time, salaried chancellor of the University at Buffalo and served from 1922-50. Under his leadership and together with architect E.B. Green, UB was transformed from a small group of autonomous schools into a modern university of 14 divisions and a central campus that is now the UB South Campus. Capen also was an acknowledged leader in higher education, particularly known for his strong defense of academic freedom in liberal arts instruction.

Mary Kinney and her husband, Lawrence, who received the grand prize for his sculpture, "Spalted Device," at the June 3 opening of the first annual Edges Outdoor Sculpture Competition, are local residents and participants in the walk.

"We have made a choice, as artists in the professional phase of our career, to live and prosper in the City of Buffalo. Incorporating art and unique architectural items to the exterior of our property contributes to the integrity of the neighborhood," said Mary. Lawrence and Mary are recognized internationally for their art and were recently invited by the International Institute to speak about their art to visitors from the country of Angola, as well as to have their work on display there. They incorporate unique architectural elements and sculptures in their home front and back gardens.

For more information about the Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk, contact the UB Office of Community Relations at 716-829-3099 or visit

UB continues to strengthen and sustain its impact as a public institution serving diverse communities locally and abroad by building stronger community partnerships that enrich and enhance the university's teaching and research mission. Through programming and these partnerships, the Office of Community Relations works to cultivate a culture of community awareness and engagement in UB's students, faculty and staff, and to be a good neighbor to the communities adjacent to and beyond its campuses.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.