PosterGarden Sponsors Its Third National Public Gardens Day to Celebrate the City of Portland's Botanical Beauty

Portland’s storied Pittock Mansion served as the perfect backdrop for the 2014 National Public Gardens Day, an annual celebration aimed at raising awareness about the importance of public gardens in every community. Sponsored for the third year in a row by PosterGarden, the May 9 event brought together public officials, representatives and supporters from many of the city’s renowned public gardens.  

“PosterGarden helped initiate this celebration here locally as a way to raise the profile and awareness of these true treasures we have in Portland,” said Cynthia Haruyama, deputy director of the Portland Japanese Garden. “They’ve really reached out to the gardens and offered support that has been invaluable.”    

PosterGarden President Travis Rigby at the National Public Gardens Day celebration.

During the celebration event, which was emceed by retired KOIN-TV news anchor Mike Donahue, representatives from each of the gardens shared an object symbolizing a recent success or undertaking. Portland Japanese Garden, for example, shared a wood block print from Japanese print artist Rei Morimura, who has made a series of prints showing the garden in each of the four seasons.  

Retired KOIN-TV anchor Mike Donahue, Marta Bones, executive director of Pittock Mansion, and Mark Smith, prime minister of the Royal Rosarians.

Other gardens and organizations represented at the event included: Audubon Society of Portland; Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden; Forest Park Conservancy; Friends of Peninsula Park Rose Garden; Hoyt Arboretum; Leach Botanical Garden; Pittock Mansion; Portland Parks Foundation; and Portland Parks and Recreation. Parks Director Mike Abbaté spoke at the event, as did Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. After the presentations, attendees headed outside, where Portland’s official ambassadors, the Royal Rosarians, planted a Georgiana Pittock Rose in honor of the city’s gardens.  

“We are proud to be able to support these gardens and organizations that really make Portland the beautiful city that it is,” said Wendy Mitchell, program director for the PosterGarden Fund for Arts, Culture & Gardens. “Taking time to celebrate their uniqueness during National Public Gardens Day is an important way to remind people just how lucky we are to have these places of beauty in our city.”  

Presented by the American Public Gardens Association, National Public Gardens Day started in 2009 as a way to celebrate the environmental stewardship of North America’s public gardens and the local, regional and national leadership and support behind them. In addition to celebrations such as the one at Pittock Mansion, the day usually includes special events such as tours, extended hours and free public admission. For more information about the day, visit  

Images courtesy Bill Barry/BarryFoto