Greg O’Brien, Connecticut
It is with unequaled gratitude that I write to you about my recent visit to Southern California. Within its borders, the land is called San Juan Capistrano, but the very real treasure is its people and Marianne Taylor is a shining example.
On a mission to help people thrive together through gardening and life skills, Marianne brought Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens to life and, because of her tireless commitment to teaching and helping others, the idea of the Eco Garden Expo became a reality.
Making the trip out from Connecticut, I was truly honored to act as Master of Ceremonies for Eco Garden Expo 2015 in beautiful Los Rios Park. Steeped in history and heritage, I quickly saw that San Juan Capistrano is what America is all about. It is rich beyond compare with friendship, loyalty and a respect for others that so many places in our world cannot seem to realize, nor develop.
Marketing myself and others over the past 38 years, I have been involved in countless events around the country and, without question, the Eco Garden Expo is an absolute homerun. I saw a town come together, while seeing the fabric of America unfold right before my eyes. On May 2 and 3, both young and old and everyone in between shared in two days filled with family fun activities and valuable learning opportunities, while walking away with a profound new respect for our environment.
Eco Garden Expo was directly responsible for bringing nearly 4,000 visitors into Los Rios Park, people who otherwise would have spent their weekend somewhere else. It’s very clear that when people enjoy what’s being offered, they will indeed return and they will bring additional family and friends with them. I can only see the Eco Garden Expo flourishing and growing in years to come, and it only makes sense for all to embrace it.
San Juan Capistrano is an amazing place, but beyond the richness of its land, its people are richer still, with a spirit the rest of America can only hope to mirror. There may be a shortage of water in San Juan Capistrano, but the enthusiasm and sense of community were flowing like a river.
Eco Garden Expo 2015 was an awesome event and a definite boost to everyone in San Juan Capistrano. I am sincerely looking forward to returning next year to help make Eco Garden Expo 2016 even more of a major success story for everyone in San Juan and the surrounding communities. I’ve always believed that it’s a very good day when you learn something new, and I walked away from Eco Garden Expo with a wealth of new knowledge that I can’t wait to share.
Congratulations to Marianne Taylor and her wonderful and dedicated staff of volunteers who are striving to make an incredible and lasting impact on the place they call home. San Juan Capistrano clearly represents the true fabric of America, a rich and vibrant fabric that I will proudly wear for all time.