So far, the newly developed memory garden has given all those involved with Tri-County something to be excited about. It was available for use this past weekend, and several residents were able to go out and enjoy it.
"My intent is that it becomes used all week for therapy and for families to spend time together. We are even going to have a grill out there." said Lovelace. "On Aug. 9, we are having a family picnic as an introduction to this garden. In time, we could open it up to more people; we may even hold services here such as weddings. Part of being a not-for profit organization is being available to the community for enjoyment."
While many rural nursing and rehabilitation centers are losing money annually, tri-county enjoyed substantial gains last year, a trend Lovelace hopes to see continue with the help of features like the memory garden that will serve to attract residents. Tri-county residents are already noticing the change; resident Edna Kenyon has a view of the garden from her room.
"It's nice to look out the window and see it, it's very beautiful and the flowers are so lovely, and every now and then you see some little birds," she remarked, "I like the gazebo; gazebos are something I've always liked. I watched the Amish men work on it, and it was very interesting."
Dorothy Bradley is another lucky resident with a room looking out at the garden.
"I like it because we are going to get to go out there, and it looks so nice with all the flowers." she said. "Especially when my daughter comes, she'll take me out there."
The memory garden is still in its infancy, and will continue to need the help of community members to grow and thrive. Anyone interested in donating to the 2009 memory garden fund should contact director of volunteers Jamie Reynolds at 251-2447.