The garden is easily accessible by wheelchair, and Tri-County will soon be installing a screened-in porch off the garden where residents can relax and enjoy the sounds and sights of nature. Lovelace said that Tri-County employees plan to incorporate vegetable gardens next year. Residents and employees will be encouraged to enjoy the fresh vegetables and to cut flowers for arrangements.
The memory garden has been largely funded by donations from the community. Key players in bringing the garden to life were Chris Sears, a local Eagle Scout candidate, and Mandy Savarie, a community volunteer who graciously did all of the planning.
Sears needed a project that would help him qualify for Eagle Scouts, and lucky for Tri-County, chose to help develop the memory garden. Sears solicited donations from the community, which funded the amassment of around 350 different plants. He, along with 13 volunteers, came on July 12 of and completed the initial planting of the garden in just one day. Tri-county also called on Richard Vega, proprietor of Adirondack Rustic Designs, to bring the project together at whole-sale costs. Vega arranged a group of Amish workers to assemble and install the gazebo that is the centerpiece of the garden, another feat accomplished in a single day. The Garden Club, headed by Jamie Reynolds, has been an enormous help as well, and community members who would like to get involved are encouraged to join. While maintenance workers on staff have stepped up to the challenge of caring for the garden at present, a landscaper will be hired next year to ensure the garden is kept its best.
"The garden will be an ongoing project" commented Lovelace. "Our September newsletter will show off our accomplishments so far, and discuss our remaining unmet needs."
Lovelace said he was proud to note that someone was already sponsoring the gazebo, as well as a bench. Those who wish to contribute in the name of loved ones can donate and have a bronze memory plaque in the garden.