The Merced County Fair is launching an “Adopt-A-Garden” program at the fairgrounds. Adopt-A-Garden invites individuals and groups to participate in beautifying the fairgrounds by adopting one of several available garden spaces and planting and tending it year-round.
The gardens are available now on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants must complete an entry form, which will be available online or in the fair office at 900 Martin Luther King Jr.Way weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to a fair news release.
The gardens must be landscaped with permanent or semi-permanent plants for year-round viewing enjoyment but can be enhanced for the fair with new flowers or décor. The gardens can be dedicated to loved ones or others using tasteful displays. Gardeners can also get recognition for their family, organization or business at their gardens.
The gardens will be inspected every three months, with prizes awarded for the most appealing and the best year-round garden. After one year, the first place garden will win $200, the second place garden will receive $150 and the third place winner, $100.
Responsibilities for maintaining the year-round gardens include planting, pruning, weeding and fertilizing. The gardens will be watered from the sprinkler systems. Fair staff won’t do any specialized watering.
The Adopt-A-Garden program is open to individuals or groups including clubs, businesses, churches, schools or families, the release said.
“The fair brings thousands of people to the fairgrounds in June, but many more people come to the fairgrounds year-round for all kinds of events, from wedding receptions and quinceañeras to business training sessions and educational seminars,” said Tom Musser, the fair’s chief executive officer. “We take pride in our attractive fairgrounds, but some of our garden spots need some help. These gardens will be a fun project that will be enjoyed by so many people and they will really help beautify our fairgrounds.”