Troy Hidden Garden Tour heads online with virtual experience


Drone photo over the Troy Hidden Garden neighborhoods. (Hudson Reality Capture / Friends of Prospect Park)

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Troy Hidden Garden Tour has migrated online for 2020, with videos and an interactive tour exploring the Collar City’s secret green spaces.

The online version launched last Friday, letting users visit the virtual garden tour from the socially-distanced comfort of a screen.

The 21st annual event benefits Prospect Park on Congress Street. Typically, the event sells maps to over 40 private gardens around the Historic Sage and Washington Park neighborhoods, attracting over 1,000 visitors in a day.

This year’s version of the self-guided tour—which includes 3D imagery, drone shots, and video messages from 12 gardeners—is free.

“This is always such a beloved, friendly event that invites visitors into the hidden, green spaces of our city. We did not want to lose that community spirit this year, so that’s why we’re bringing it to you, virtually.”

Peter Grimm

The online tour captures 28 gardens in 360-degree interactive photographs. Most are about 20-foot by 30-foot rectangles, featuring flowers, fountains, pools, paths, and veggies. On some devices, images move along with the device, simulating virtual reality.

Although in past years, the gardens were open for one night only, rain or shine, this year’s iteration is always sunny, 24 hours a day for at least the next month.

Although this adventure at home is free, the Friends of Prospect Park gladly accept online donations to support improvements and projects there. They hope to provide free programming at the historic park when crowded gatherings are permitted again.

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