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Ground breaks on gratitude garden at Trail carehome

Donations will be put toward landscaping, hardscaping, furniture and sunshades
As springtime warms the Trail area, the KBRH Health Foundation took advantage of the sunshine to break ground on the Columbia View Lodge Garden of Gratitude Project. L-R (front): Margot Wright, Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Columbia View Lodge/Poplar Ridge Pavilion; Lisa Pasin, KBRH Health Foundation Executive Director; (back) Tamara Roscoe, R.N., Interim Manager, Columbia View Lodge; Mary Martin; Joel Graf, Grafic Concrete Finishing; (standing) Geoff Ross, Alpine Contracting; (kneeling) Brandon Crossley, Alpine Contracting; Coltin Schubert, Alpine Contracting. Photo: Submitted

The Garden of Gratitude is a $200,000 project prioritizing restoration of three garden courtyards at Columbia View Lodge, keeping them fully accessible and usable for residents and their families.

The gardens are used by tenants of the 76-bed carehome for various activities, family events, and gardening using planter boxes. As well, green spaces provide a safe area for relaxation in the fresh air.

The main, central garden was identified as a priority because it is the highest use garden for seating and recreation programming for residents, their families and staff. Problems included sidewalks that were too narrow to allow safe patient passage and a covered area that was not large enough to house all residents at once.

Improvements in the main garden will include: new concrete to widen pathways; a concrete extension to enable a larger gathering area; new furniture; sun shade covers; planting of shrubs and flowers with various bloom times and heights for differing times of the year; irrigation; and garden pots/raised planters for residents to help maintain.

The smallest garden area, immediately outside the Alzheimer’s Unit, was identified as the second priority. This garden needs ground cover improvements such as: new concrete; new furniture; sun shade covers; irrigation; and smaller garden pots/raised planters.

For people living with Alzheimer’s, gardens can carry gentle reminders of past experiences and jog the memory through scents and visual cues.

This project will not only benefit residents, but also their families, visitors and dedicated staff who provide care each and every day, explains Lisa Pasin, executive director, Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) Health Foundation.

“Enhancing quality of life for our long term care residents is a priority for the KBRH Health Foundation. We are thrilled to be able to engage with our partners, Alpine Contracting, Grafic Concrete Finishing, and Interior Health to restore the gardens at Columbia View Lodge,” Pasin adds. “We are confident this project will result in spaces that maximize mobility and usage for residents and also result in a warm and welcoming environment for residents, their families and the health-care teams at Columbia View Lodge.”

To help grow a garden for those living with, caring for and/or supporting those affected by Alzheimer’s disease, donations can be made by calling the KBRH Health Foundation at 250.364.3424 and through the foundation website: Cheques can be dropped in the donation box at CVL or mailed to KBRH Health Foundation, 1200 Hospital Bench Trail, BC V1R 4M1.

Donations will be put toward landscaping, hardscaping, furniture and sunshades. To date, $80,000 has been raised.

Read more: ‘Garden of Gratitude’ the centre of a new KBRH Health Foundation project

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Sheri Regnier

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