About Rivertown Garden
It's official. Our East County demonstration garden has a new name: Rivertown Garden. Rivertown Garden, formerly called Mangini Garden, was established in 2018 at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds in Antioch.
Rivertown Garden is normally open to the general public every Tuesday from 10 am to noon, February through October. Stop by, visit and wander, and get your general home gardening questions answered.
Rivertown Garden boasts an indoor classroom for presentations and a large park to have classes under the trees in good weather. Join UC Master Gardener speakers for seasonal short demonstrations & classes covering topics such as fruit trees, vegetables, bugs, tools and irrigation, all offered free to the community. And, our crack Ask A Master Gardener team will be available each class date. A list of classes, dates and times can be found here.
Rivertown Garden is located within the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds at 1201 West 10th Street, Antioch, California. Enter the Fairgrounds from West 10th Street, between O and L Streets. As you head into the Fairgrounds, take the first right into the Fairgrounds Administration parking lot.
Finding Rivertown Garden
Garden Talks Are Back!
We've got a robust and exciting season of talks scheduled, starting on April 26th. The talks happen on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Come on out and join us for our talks, and see what's going on in the garden!
Most of the talks are from 10:00 - 11:00 am. Some Tuesday talks are in the evening from 7:00 - 8:00 pm.
Here is our 2022 schedule:
- Tuesday, April 26 - Firewise Landscaping, 10 - 11 am
- Tuesday, May 3 - Common Garden Tools, 10 - 11 am
- Tuesday, June 21 - Irrigation, 10 - 11 am
- Saturday, July 16 - Drought Tolerant Landscaping, 10 - 11 am
- Tuesday, July 19 - Fertilizers and Amendments 10 - 11 am
- Tuesday, August 2 - Container & Small Space Gardening, 7 - 8 pm
- Saturday, August 20 - Good Bug, Bad Bug, 10 - 11 am
- Tuesday, September 6 - Composting, 7 - 8 pm
- Tuesday, September 20 - Succulents, 10 - 11 am
- Saturday, October 8 - What Went Wrong in Your Summer Garden, and How to Fix it, 10 -11 am
- Tuesday, October 18 - The Squeeze on Citrus, 10 - 11 am
- Tuesday, November 8 - Fall and Winter Care of Fruit Trees, 10 - 11 am
These talks can also be found on our Garden talks calendar.
At Rivertown Demonstration Garden during the 2017 Great Tomato Plant Sale
Aerial view of Rivertown Demonstration Garden from Google Maps
Rivertown Garden History
Starting in 2002, school nutrition tours were held at the former Mangini Agricultural Museum within the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds for garden-enhanced nutrition education. This program was co-sponsored by the Fairgrounds, the UC Nutrition in Schools Program, the Contra Costa Farm Bureau and the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County.
The program folded many years ago, and the garden was abandoned and went fallow. Since 2016, the UC Master Gardener Program has been holding successful Great Tomato Plant Sales at the Fairgrounds, and that success motivated us to work with the Fairgrounds to re-establish the site as a new demonstration garden. The garden opened in 2018 as Mangini Garden, and has been re-christened Rivertown Garden in 2020.
Rivertown Garden Today
Rivertown Garden is now a focal point in East County for home horticultural outreach and education activities. The garden is the East County version and little sister to the demonstration garden known as Our Garden in Walnut Creek. Rivertown has nine raised garden beds with drip irrigation and a new greenhouse that has doubled the propagation yields. A vigorous and self-sustaining composting program has been established to demonstrate what composting can do to change a garden’s health and productivity. A small sensory and native plant bed provides an example of a low-water and colorful landscape.
All fruits and vegetables organically grown in Rivertown Garden are donated to local charitable organizations to help those in need in East Contra Costa County and to educate and promote healthy nutrition.