Community Outreach

The Livermore-Amador Valley Garden Club has a number of service projects in the Tri-Valley Area. We also support the Penny Pines program, which is a joint partnership of the National Garden Club (NGC) and the USDA Forest Service sustaining our national and urban forests through this reforestation/forest education program.

Sensory Garden

Friday, Apr 21, 2017 9:00 am to Noon

5353 Sunol Blvd., Pleasanton; Across from Raley's. Adjacent to the Pleasanton Senior Center on Sunol Blvd

The purpose of the monthly work party is to maintain the Sensory Garden in a presentable condition for public viewing. To this end, we pull weeds, deadhead spent flowers, cut back dying growth, and otherwise tidy up the garden.

Please bring your own gloves, kneeling pads and hand tools, such as hand pruners, trowels, cultivators, soil knives, etc. Please mark your name or initials on your personal tools. Larger tools and supplies will be provided. There are "jobs" to be done in the raised beds (involves standing) and in the ground-level beds (involves sitting and kneeling). Let Dan know if you prefer to work standing, sitting, or kneeling. Restrooms are available in the Pleasanton Senior Center building.

We invite all of the club members to participate. We will be happy to show less experienced members how to do the tasks. Even if you can't spend the full three hours working in the garden, any time that you can participate is welcomed, so please come early or come late. After the work party, for those interested, we will go to lunch at a near-by location.

Even if you cannot participate in the work party, you are invited to visit the garden on any day. You are also encouraged to get close, sniff and touch the plants, since many are fragrant or aromatic and have interesting textures.

For more information, please contact Daniel McCright. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Dan's contact information.


Chinese Fringe Tree ( Chionanthus retusus)

This small ornamental tree bears a profusion of flowers looking like strands of white flowers in an interesting form. These are followed by dark blue berries in fall. The tree also shows exfoliating bark for another ornamental quality. Featured Plant: Chinese Fringe Tree ( Chionanthus retusus)

Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi)

Ice plants bear dazzling blooms that cover the plants in neon colors. We allow the ice plant to cascade down the wall of one of the raised beds. The effect is eye-catching. Ice plants have a succulent quality that makes them quite drought tolerant and are easy to reproduce by cuttings. The one in the Sensory Garden has bright magenta-pink blooms. Featured Plant: Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi)

Yarrow (Achillea) variety Moonshine

This plant produces large clusters of bright yellow flowers profusely in spring with continued flowers through the summer if old fowers are cut off and the plant is cut back to encourage new growth. Yarrows are of easy culture and survive dry conditions. Moonshine is of hybrid origin and new plants are only propagated by division of off-shoots. Featured Plant: Yarrow (Achillea) variety Moonshine

California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena)

We pair California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) with Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena). These are two annuals that abundantly reseed themselves from year to year so that they act as perennials. California poppy blooms are described as egg-yolk yellow and nigella flowers are a mid-blue, a beautiful color combination surely beloved by any UC alum. These two flowers are of the world easiest culture. A further plus is the delicate fern-like form of the foliage. Featured Plant: California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena)'

Back to top

Livermore 1st Street Pots

No workparties are currently scheduled

Please contact Lydia Roberts for more information.

Back to top

Camp Arroyo

Friday, March 24, 2017 9:00 am to Noon

Friday, April 28, 2017 9:00 am to Noon

5535 Arroyo Road, Livermore, CA 94550

Camp Arroyo is a 138-acre park owned and maintained by the East Bay Regional Park District since 1995. It is used by the YMCA for outdoor education during the school year and by the Taylor Family Foundation during the summer for children with serious illnesses.

2017 Work days in the garden will continue to be the 4th Friday (most months!) but Kim is adding a community work day - usually on a Saturday maybe the occasional Sunday, this will include a quick (15-20 minute) garden lesson and then like our Friday work days a list of chores and set folks loose in the garden. The weekend work day will not include lunch but will include a snack. This group will not always be gardeners, so any Club members who would like to attend are super welcome - as in some cases it would be great to pair up less experienced gardeners with folks with more experience.

Our March work party will be Friday March 24th, 9-noonish depends on how long we spend enjoying lunch. We will work first and then go up to the dining hall and have a wonderful camp lunch. Camp Arroyo is a pesticide free garden with an emphasis on vegetables. There are jobs for all levels of gardening skills. Come and join in the fun.

Please sign up at the monthly club meeting or contact Kim Billingsley for more information.


The address is 5535 Arroyo Road in Livermore. Once you are on Arroyo Road, continue past Wente Winery on the left. Camp Arroyo is a short distance from Wente and is located on the right hand side. The first gate is for the Taylor Family Foundation, you want the second gate and you will recognize it by the stone walls either side of the gate and of course, the sign!

Once inside Camp, you can park in the lot on the left and the garden will be across the road on the right.

If you're not sure where it is, ask to ride with someone.

Back to top

Eden Project Garden

Friday, April 14, 2017 9:00 am to Noon.

Saturday, April 22, 2017 9:00 am to Noon.

1660 Freisman Road, Livermore. Pleasanton if you are using GPS! Although it is actually in Livermore!

The Eden Project garden, located on the grounds of Crosswinds Church, has 2 simple goals: to provide fresh, organic produce to those in need and to provide a place where people can learn to grow their own food.

There will be our usual two work parties this month, second Friday and fourth Saturday of the month. We will be planting out our tomatoes and peppers, along with other summer crops. Come check out what varieties we will be planting this year - some old favorites and some brand new. So, come for an hour or three, no experience required, just a willingness to help out. We will break at around 11am for a snack and our learning topic will be on growing peppers and how to make your own paprika and cayenne. We are also willing to answer any garden questions that we can and of course, there will be opportunity for discussion.

In 2009, Karen Abbruscato and Barbara Stott started this garden with the idea of providing fresh, organic produce to those in need and to provide a place for people to learn how to grow their own produce. So the Eden Project was born with zero budget but plenty of generous souls and spirits, including LAVGC and Crosswinds Church, allowing us to use their land and well water. Fast forward 7 years and we find ourselves needing to make changes. In 2016 Crosswinds Church moved to the 35 acre retired dairy farm which we had to ourselves for so long, and with that change comes more change. We lost the back part of the Garden and gained an adjacent area to the south. In January, 2017 we re-aligned deer fencing, constructed a greenhouse and started our seeds. We have some new raised beds, an area for community beds and seed saving for Seed Share.

For planning purposes, it is really helpful to know if you will be joining us but please feel free to just show up. If you would like more information or want to join us, please signup at the monthly club meeting or contact Barbara Stott or Karen Abbuscato.

Thank you for your support of the Eden Project Organic Garden and helping us meet our goal of getting fresh, clean produce to those in need.

  • 2016 HARVEST
  • Beans 30.5 lbs
  • Berries 21 lbs
  • Cucumber 103.25 lbs
  • Garlic 45 lbs
  • Leeks 8 lbs
  • Melon 82 lbs
  • Onions 12 lbs
  • Peppers 57.5 lbs
  • Potatoes 59 lbs
  • Summer squash 416.5 lbs
  • Tomatoes 204.75 lbs
  • Winter squash 57.5 lbs
  • Other (Tomatillo) 26.5 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 1,123.5 lbs
  • 2015 HARVEST
  • Apricots 2
  • Blackberries 16 lbs
  • Cucumber 495 lbs
  • Eggplant 10 lbs
  • Garlic 25 lbs
  • Herbs 19 bunches
  • Leeks 22 lbs
  • Onions 60 lbs
  • Peppers 170 lbs
  • Persimmons 32 lbs
  • Potatoes 71 lbs
  • Summer squash 327 lbs
  • Tomatoes 476 lbs
  • Winter squash 366 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 2,072 lbs
  • 2014 HARVEST
  • Basil 3.5 lbs
  • Blackberries 1 lbs
  • Butternut squash 32 lbs
  • Cucumber 3 lbs
  • Eggplant 196 lbs
  • Garlic 66 lbs
  • Leeks 16 lbs
  • Onions 277 lbs
  • Peppers 205 lbs
  • Potatoes 55 lbs/li>
  • Summer squash 672 lbs
  • Tomatoes 317 lbs
  • Winter squash 153 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 1,996.5 lbs
  • 2013 HARVEST
  • Beans 78 lbs
  • Cantaloupe 7 lbs
  • Eggplant 16 lbs
  • Garlic 25 lbs
  • Kale 16 lbs
  • Onions 36 lbs
  • Peppers 90 lbs
  • Persimmons 7 lbs
  • Potatoes 159 lbs
  • Squash 328 lbs
  • Tomatoes 390 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 1,152 lbs


From Dublin, take 580 east towards Livermore. Get off at El Charro/Fallon Road and turn right on to El Charro. Turn left at the Outlet Mall and then left again at the end of the Outlet Mall block. Keep to the right and turn right at the end of the road (onto the frontage road). Drive past the golf driving range to the end of Freisman Road. Freisman dead ends at the property. Turn right on to the property. Once on the property take the first left. Follow the road around, across the bridge and you will see a large metal barn. The garden is behind the barn.

From Livermore, you can take 580 west and exit at El Charro/Fallon Road or you can access the property from Jack London Blvd (via Isabel/84). Turn right at the outlet mall. Keep to the right and turn right at the end of the road (onto the frontage road). Drive past the golf driving range to the end of Freisman Road. Freisman dead ends at the property. Turn right on to the property. Once on the property take the first left. Follow the road around, across the bridge and you will see a large metal barn. The garden is behind the barn.

Back to top

Pleasanton Gardens

251 Kottinger Drive, Pleasanton

No work parties currently scheduled

Pleasanton Gardens is a retirement community located at 251 Kottinger Drive, Pleasanton, just east of Second Street in the “old” section of Pleasanton.

Pleasanton Gardens will be under new management as of December 1, 2016.

You can also view the garden plot where the residents grow edible crops in the most intensive gardening way we have ever seen. Our club tilled the soil and installed the walkways a few years ago. Many residents grow unusual Asian vegetables not ordinarily seen. Fava beans are a big favorite at this season.

For more information, please contact Daniel McCright. See the LAVGC Yearbook for additional contact information.


Pleasanton Gardens Oct, 2010

In October 2010, the club roto-tilled, raked, amended and prepared the soil in an area in Pleasanton Gardens to make garden plots for the residents. They also laid out walkways between the plots.

Pleasanton Gardens Oct, 2010

Pleasanton Gardens Nov, 2015

Five years later in November 2015, the photos show intensely cultivated garden plots maintained by the residents. They grow a variety of crops through the year. They save and re-sow seeds of heirloom vegetables.

Pleasanton Gardens Nov, 2015

Pleasanton Gardens Nov, 2015

There are about 40 residential units at Pleasanton Gardens. Most of the residents maintain a small garden plot in front of their unit. Many have rose bushes in their plots. Each January, the Garden Club holds a work party to help the residents prune their roses and perform other garden-related tasks for them. Throughout the year, the residents proudly show off their colorful entry ways.

Pleasanton Gardens Nov, 2015

Back to top

Garden Angels

We have a group of members willing and eager to go out and help any garden club member that is not able to keep up their garden temporarily possibly because of illness, chemo, etc. We can deadhead, sweep, plant annuals, and generally tidy up the garden. Do you need this kind of help or know someone who does? If so, please use the signup sheet at the monthly club meeting or contact Peggy Despotakis.

Looking for Garden Angels. Periodically club members need some help in their gardens due to illness. If you would like to be on the Angel call list for a workparty, contact Peggy Despotakis.

Back to top

Penny Pines

The Penny Pines program, which is a joint partnership of the National Garden Club (NGC) and the USDA Forest Service sustaining our national and urban forests through this reforestation/forest education program.

Have you wondered what that cute green box that is passed around at the meeting and people are putting money inside is for? Each $68 that we collect is used to plant an acre of burned out national forest land. Since 1999, our club has donated money to help plant 109 acres of trees for a total donation of over $8,000.

In addition to donations made by the club, you can make private donations as Jeri Stark did this Christmas. She felt her children have everything they need and so she gave them each a certificate honoring them in the forests near Yosemite where they have spent many years at their grandparent's home. Giving back a bit for all the years of enjoyment for the many happy and fun filled days spent in the area. How it works:

  • LAVGC can honor current or past club members, a member's life partner, or child by contributing funds to the USDA Forest Service.
  • A club member may privately honor an individual by submitting a completed form along with a check for $68, payable to LAVGC.
  • At each monthly meeting, the club collects change that is set aside for a time when a plantation is to be purchased to honor a club member.
  • A PENNY PINES Certificate will be sent to inform the family of the location of the plantation.
  • Nomination to be approved or denied by the LAVGC Executive Board within 60 days of receipt.
  • The Executive Board may also direct purchase of a Penny Pines Plantation for other reasons.
  • To obtain a form from the LAVGC Members Only section, signin, click 'Forms', click the 'Penny Pines' form you want.
  • To obtain a form or for more information, please contact Jeri Stark. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Jeri's phone numbers.

Click to see the NGC Penny Pines information.

Back to top