A Garden of Hope was just a dream at Hope for Bereaved’s board meetings 27 years ago—the dream became a reality thanks to Founder/leader Therese Schoeneck’s vision, Nursery/Landscaper Jim Sollecito, and my efforts at getting Onondaga County on board with the project (I was on Hope’s Board)
Today’s re-dedication, a Memorial Day noontime tradition, included Jim Sollecito’s update on the re-shaping and revitalization of garden plantings, as well as a new hydrangea garden dedicated in memory of his late daughter. I was recognized as one of the ‘founders’ and shared the story of the garden’s creation:
We liked the site along the Onondaga Lake Parkway, because a county master plan included building a bike bridge over the road at that point, to like the bicycle path from Northern Lights to a route that would eventually circle Onondaga Lake.
We created the original garden in the shape of a butterfly, expecting that it would be visible from the bridge, and would remind all of Hope for Bereaved’s symbol of hope.
As we know, the bridge was not, and probably will not be built. But, the garden is thriving, and growing, as a place for bereaved whose loved ones have passed away out of the area (the original purpose), and now as a place for reflection, and for many to come make lasting new memories: we continue to host weddings, prom picture taking and other occasions.
As Jim Sollecito says, it’s turned into a premier public garden in the Syracuse area.
Article by Laura Hand – CNY Central