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Master Gardener volunteers will guide you along the walkway, stopping to identify and discuss favorite plants, provide gardening tips, and demonstrate native plant propagation.

Walk, Talk, Learn at the Master Gardeners Creekside Garden

Submitted By UC Master Gardener- Lindy Kauffman

MARIPOSA–Have you ever walked along Stroming Road between 6th and 8th Streets? Have you noticed the various plants living in the space between the walkway and the creek? (Sometimes they are brightly blooming, sometimes messy, and sometimes quietly brown and woody). Back in 2000, the county received funding to begin the development of the Mariposa Creek Parkway. At that time the Mariposa Master Gardeners proposed developing a portion of the parkway as a publicly accessible, park-like setting incorporating California native plants.

The History

A vibrant tree adorned with yellow flowers, adding a touch of beauty and color to the surroundings.The goal for the garden was (and still is) to provide home gardeners with examples of native plants that are well adapted to our foothill climate and to share knowledge about these plants with the public.

In 2001, a grant from the Elvenia J. Slossen Endowment Fund made it possible for the Master Gardeners to proceed with the development of the garden. A committee was formed of Master Gardeners, California Native Plant Society members, and members from the community. Initial steps included developing a comprehensive list of suitable plants, and the completion of the government funded work to create the handicap-accessible walkway and lay underground pipes to support a future irrigation system.

The Design and Opening

Master Gardeners sponsored a competition for the design of the garden, which was open to everyone. The winner of the garden design competition was a Mariposa High School student, Lia Stalder, who captured “just the right feel” for the Creekside Garden space. With the design finalized, drip irrigation was installed, weeds and invasive species were removed, soil was improved, and finally, plants were planted. The Mariposa Master Gardener Creekside Demonstration Garden officially opened in the spring of 2003.

A woman in hat and gloves stands before a row of vibrant flowers in the Mariposa Master Gardener Creekside Demonstration Garden

Author Lindy Kaufman in the Creekside Demonstration Garden.

Over time the garden has evolved. In 2017 a significant portion of the garden was lost to severe flooding. Several years of re-planting and repairs followed, and then the winter of 2023 wreaked havoc in the garden again. All through this time the Mariposa Master Gardeners volunteers have continued to repair, re-plan, re-plant and maintain the garden.

The garden is now back on course with native plants best adapted for the Mariposa foothills. The garden is particularly enjoyable in the spring, with native redbud, hummingbird sage, poppies, and lupine in full bloom. As spring leads to summer Bee’s Bliss, Clevelandii sage and buttonwillow shrubs attract numerous pollinators and the garden hums. We encourage everyone to take a walk by the garden.

Better still, this year we are reinstating a previously held tradition – a guided walk through the garden. On Saturday June 1 at 1:00 PM, the Master Gardeners invite you to attend our “Walk, Talk, Learn” workshop in the garden. Master Gardener volunteers will guide you along the walkway, stopping to identify and discuss favorite plants, provide gardening tips, and demonstrate native plant propagation. The workshop is free, but you must sign up in advance, so we know how many to expect. You can register here or call (209) 966-2417.

About UC Master Gardeners Mariposa

UC Master Gardeners of Mariposa County are located in Mariposa at 5009 Fairgrounds Rd. Visit our website at and Facebook page (UC Master Gardeners of Mariposa County) for more gardening information and events. UC Master Gardeners staff a Helpline serving Mariposa County, including Greely Hill, Coulterville, and Lake Don Pedro (209)-966-7078 or mgmariposa@ucdavis.edu). Listen to us on the radio at KRYZ 98.5 Mariposa on Wednesdays at 2:00 and Saturdays at 5:00.

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