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March 21, 2012
Updated: McKinley Park rose garden to reopen soon

McKinley Park's beloved rose garden is growing closer to its reopening - just in time for wedding season.

The week of April 15 is when the city plans to take down the fence surrounding the garden since September. The garden's first two weddings of 2012 are scheduled for April 21.

The official reopening is now planned for May 12, the day before Mother's Day, according to Cecily Hastings of Friends of East Sacramento. Her group recently signed an agreement with the City of Sacramento to take over the garden's care and event scheduling.

Originally planted in 1928, the Frederick Evans Memorial Rose Garden - located on H Street near Alhambra Boulevard - has been closed for major renovations for seven months. With a pricetag of about $240,000, the improvements include: an accessible walkway, new automatic irrigation system, planter curbs, a drinking fountain, a rose garden map, accessible parking spaces and refurbished benches.

City parks officials had hoped to reopen the garden in February. But the project was delayed by problems with the new irrigation system, according to Ellie Longanecker, co-founder of Friends of the McKinley Park Rose Garden. Also, new sod paths needed more time to take root.

The 1.5-acre garden features more than 1,000 rose bushes. Volunteers planted hundreds of new bushes during the renovation.

Friends of East Sacramento plans additional work to the garden, Hastings said.

The rose garden is a favorite Sacramento site for weddings and outdoor seasonal events. A new website - www.mckinleyparkcenter.org - will be launched April 7 to handle event bookings, she said.

City parks officials had hoped to reopen the garden in February. But the project was delayed by problems with the new irrigation system, according to Ellie Longanecker, co-founder of Friends of the McKinley Park Rose Garden. Also, new sod paths needed more time to take root.

The 1.5-acre garden features more than 1,000 rose bushes. Volunteers planted hundreds of new bushes during the renovation.

The garden is a favorite Sacramento site for weddings and outdoor seasonal events. Rental fee for the McKinley Park rose garden is $140 for a three-hour time block with reservations taken up to 12 months in advance.

For more information, call (916) 808-6060 or click on www.cityofsacramento.org/parksandrecreation.

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