DANBURY, CONN. — Trees are blooming, birds are chirping and there’s a buzz of excitement in the air on the Western Connecticut State University Westside campus as the Ives Concert Park prepares to break ground on a new garden and launch a fresh season of concerts, festivals and family-friendly events. Today, as people celebrate Earth Day, local landscape designer Camilla Worden will break ground on a new garden at the entrance to the popular outdoor venue to signal the beginning of a new season at Ives.

Steve Greenberg, chairman of the Charles Ives Authority for the Performing Arts Board of Directors, said the timing is perfect.

“It is appropriate that on Earth Day we are celebrating the launch of our ‘Adopt-A-Garden’ program at the Ives Concert Park site,” Greenberg said. “I want to thank Camilla Worden for adopting the entrance garden site. We hope others will be inspired to partake in this project and enhance the natural beauty of the park to the enjoyment of more than 65,000 guests this year.”

Worden is the first area landscaper to volunteer her services to beautify the grounds at Ives Concert Park, the outdoor amphitheatre situated on a parcel of preserved, state-owned land that includes 40 wooded acres, a pond, gardens and public hiking trails. This year, the new “Adopt-A-Garden” program provides the opportunity for area professionals to showcase their landscaping abilities to the tens of thousands of visitors who come to the venue during the summer concert and performing arts season. Opportunities to adopt garden plots still exist and more information can be obtained by calling Ives Authority Board Member Ellen Cavallo Bucciti at (203) 740-2452.

“I am very excited to be part of the new Ives Board of Directors and the programs we have in place for the 2010 season,” Cavallo Bucciti said. “The ‘Adopt-A-Garden’ program launches our season and will enhance the natural beauty of the Ives Concert Park for the community to enjoy for years to come. We appreciate the excitement that Camilla Worden Garden Design has already shown by adopting the entrance garden site. We look forward to working with other community gardeners and businesses to create exceptional gardens on the four additional sites available for adoption.”

Worden serves on the Board of Directors of the Land Trust of Danbury and on the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Organic Land Care Committee. A member of the Ecological Landscaper’s Association, the Perennial Plant Association and the Mad Gardeners, she has more than 20 years experience in complete landscape design, installation and maintenance of residential and commercial properties. She is a NOFA-Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and is committed to promoting organic and ecologically sensitive practices. She holds a Landscape Design Certificate from The New York Botanic Garden and has been a Master Gardener since 1988. Worden is a certified Connecticut Nurseryperson, is a registered Custom Grounds Supervisor and is a licensed Landscape Contractor in both Connecticut and New York.

“Charles Ives received his musical inspiration on Pine Mountain and other natural areas in Danbury, and the Ives Concert Park has been lovingly carved out of the woods on the WestConn Westside campus,” Worden said. “Earth Day is a time for us to reflect on our connection to the land. We are all stewards of the Earth and we should decide carefully how we treat the land that has been given to us. We can make some wise decisions by planting trees, shrubs and ground covers that provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife both at Ives Concert and in our own yards.

“Ives’ music was surprising and bold, and that will be reflected in the entrance garden,” Worden promised. “My company is honored to participate in the beautification of the entrance to Ives Concert Park.”

New gardens aren’t the only plans on the drawing board at the concert park. A full slate of summer music concerts, festivals and family entertainment also is being planned.

More information about Ives Concert Park and the summer schedule can be found at www.ivesconcertpark.com, www.facebook.com/pages/Danbury-CT/Ives-Concert-Park/63962759373 and http://twitter.com/IvesConcertPark.