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Brandywine Valley Water Garden Tour Benefits Food Bank

The two-day self guided tour (July 27-28, 2024) includes a community barbecue on Saturday.

One of the more unique events of the summer in Chester County is right around the corner, as the Brandywine Valley Water Garden Weekend Tour is slated for July 27-28, 2024

The origins of the event can be traced back to 2005 when a group of approximately 30 pond enthusiasts gathered to use their interest in the elaborate water gardens built by Coatesville-based Turpin Landscape Design & Build as a vehicle for philanthropy. In 2009, upon the suggestion of Sen. Andy Dinniman, the Tour directed its efforts to supporting a newly created organization, the Chester County Food Bank. Since then, The Tour Committee has raised well over $200,000 for the Food Bank.

“It started as a small group who wanted to give something back to the community,” said Sarah Turpin, who co-owns Turpin Landscaping with her husband Jason, whom customers often refer to as an aquatic artist.

This fun-filled two-day self-guided tour winds its way throughout Chester County, bringing pond and garden enthusiasts and those who want to explore the outdoors to enjoy the experience water features provide. This year the Tour features over 30 properties for guests to enjoy. Self-guided tours are $55 and tickets can be purchased here. Saturday’s tour (July 27) offers a casual barbecue at Turpin Headquarters at 287 Martins Corner Road in Coatesville.

“The Food Bank’s mission of ensuring access to nutritious food to those in our community blended well with the Brandywine Valley Water Garden Tour Committee’s desire to give back to the local community,” said Sarah Turpin.

“The Water Garden Tour and Turpin Landscaping were one of the first contributors to the Food Bank when we started in November 2009,” said Anne Shuniak, Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications at the Chester County Food Bank. “From the team at Turpin, to the Tour Committee members, to all of the garden hosts, this event is truly a community coming together to help those struggling with food insecurity in Chester County.”

One $55 ticket to the Tour will support 26 meals through the Food Bank.

“We are so very grateful and honored to be the beneficiary,” said Andrea Youndt, CEO of the Food Bank.

The Tour offers the opportunity to visit the homes of local residents who have created beautiful waterscapes in their backyards. Included in the Tour are self-contained ponds with streams and water features ranging in size from small to expansive, as well as waterfalls without visible ponds. Beautiful landscaping, colorful flowers, arrays of dazzling waterfalls, and friendly fish of all colors, shapes, and sizes await those who visit just a few of the many homes featured on the Tour.

On Saturday evening, tour participants, along with the homeowners who have opened their yards and water features in support of the event, are invited to gather at Turpin Landscaping on Martins Corner Road for the barbecue.

From sun to shade, from flat to hilly terrains, ponds can be situated practically anywhere. The Turpins certainly love a challenge, as evidenced by some of the properties highlighted on the Tour.

“We do everything for the outdoor lifestyle,” said Sarah Turpin. “Everything from ponds to outdoor kitchens, patios, decks, and pizza ovens. But ponds are certainly a big part of our business.”

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

The Chester County Food Bank is the central hunger relief organization serving more than 160 food cupboards, meal sites, and social service organizations throughout Chester County. We take a steadfast approach to provide food and build support in the neediest communities while raising awareness and engagement among our community. Stay connected with us and sign up for our Monthly Scoop newsletter.