Garden of Hope looks to bloom next spring

·2 min read

Flowers which take time to bloom can become the most lovely of sights.

The Garden of Hope project for the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre (GBCSC) will begin to sprout over the next few months, offering uplift and inspiration to those going through the cancer journey.

As the GBCSC is located in the Home for Hope at 45 Edward Street in Penetanguishene, the Garden of Hope will be constructed adjacent to the building, within the overall lands gifted to the GBCSC in 2018.

The Garden of Hope will provide an environmentally-friendly garden and green space for members of the GBCSC and the public, with local flora to grow habitat for bees and butterflies. It's also expected to enhance the residential beauty within Penetanguishene while offering space for community exhibits, fairs and other events and engage local businesses to aid in the garden, from creation and construction through to upkeep.

Design for the garden will integrate several aspects, including a procurement with designer and fabricator Lafontaine Iron Werks, a bridge designed by local engineer Jonathan Killing, preservation of all large trees in the landscaping plan and a circular gazebo with four gathering areas for sheltered program space.

Funding for Phase 1 of the Garden of Hope was carried by Penetanguishene council during the first draft budget meeting for 2022, without hesitation at a time when budget cuts were discussed at length.

The approved request of $10,000 through the 2022 Community Capital Grant Program budget was intended to start fabrication of the bridge and gazebo in preparation for installation for spring; permeable walkways, lighting, seating, and landscaping are anticipated to complete at that time.

It is estimated that one in two Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime with the five-year survival rate now at roughly 63%; as people live longer with cancer, communities will benefit from the type of support which the GBCSC offers.

The GBCSC is the only rural cancer support centre in the province, with a mission statement to “provide emotional, physical, social, spiritual support, education, and information as a complement to the medical system for people affected by cancer.”

For further information on the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre, phone (705) 549-6444 or visit the GBCSC website.

Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,

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