We’ve received more heartwarming stories from community builders, making it even harder for the judge’s panel to select just one. It’s a nail biter. Read more from other applicants. (P.S. Not all applicants chose to share their stories publicly.)
Trinity Village Studios, Kingsway Drive, Kitchener
Trinity Village offers accommodations to over 280 seniors residing in independent life lease town homes, an assisted living retirement residence and a long term care centre. This includes offering accommodations to seniors who require a subsidy through the Region’s domiciliary hostel program. We also welcome over 25 participants to our Adult Day Program three days per week.
Our mission is to be a caring community which values and fosters the worth and lifestyle of all.
On our site, we have a beautiful, accessible community garden that offers residents the opportunity to plant and nurture flowers in the self-contained large planters that are specifically designed to accommodate people using a wheelchair or walker. The garden attracts both residents and visitors to the site.
We believe a waterfall would be a wonderful addition to our site. Specifically, the waterfall would be located in the garden area beside The Studios. Residents and visitors could sit in the patio area and reminisce of gardens they have designed which may have included a water feature, chat with other visitors, or just simply enjoy the warmth of the sun. Children also like this area of our site as it offers a chance to run around on a grassy area and maybe sneak a raspberry or two from the garden. Of course, conversation isn’t always needed to communicate – one could always share the restorative experience associated with the subtle sounds and movement of water.
Traverse Independence, Tagge St, Kitchener
Traverse Independence supports adults with physical disabilities and brain injuries to live independently in the community. As a centre of excellence, we empower and connect clients on their journey to independence.
Our clients at the Tagge Street Location would benefit from the Aquascape Pondless Waterfall Feature because they have a profound appreciation for nature and the outdoors. The location of the waterfall in the backyard would give the clients a more relaxing and appealing space to complete their therapeutic programs in, such as exercise and speech . It would also be an enjoyable area for the clients to spend time with family and volunteers; their own private oasis.
We do arrange for our clients to go on outings within the community; however, due to circumstances beyond our control (e.g. transportation), there are times when they are unable to get out. Having an Aquascape Pondless Waterfall feature in the backyard would provide them with an environment that is both beautiful and soothing. It would bring a small part of nature into their lives to be appreciated on a daily basis.
The Giving Garden, Cambridge
The property belongs to the church but is accessible to all and used as if it is a park. The yard is a welcoming presence. On any summer evening, neighbours can be found relaxing, playing and talking together.
We enter this contest not for ourselves, but for our neighbours. The Giving Garden, the Memorial Garden and the accompanying green space located at 94 Elgin St. S. are ideally located as a therapeutic area for them.
Although the area is located behind Maranatha Christian Reformed Church, it really serves 9 communities – the people who live in the seven (7) apartment buildings and the two (2) townhouse complexes within easy walking/wheelchair distance of the property.
The people who live in the units, who garden, walk their dogs, ride their wheelchairs and scooters, ride their bicycles and just sit at the picnic table would reap many benefits from a Pondless Waterfall and Stream.
The health benefits of being outside, the social benefits of meeting neighbours, the community building are some of the ways we’d like to bless our neighbours-seniors on a fixed income and isolated, immigrants, single mothers, the disabled, the unemployed.
These people have become friends of ours as they garden, attend our annual free BBQ (actually on the same day as the Pond Tour!!), and attend our garage sales.
One of our gardeners was recently featured in the Storytelling Project for Waterloo Region.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtQBwCitPCs (starting at minute 3:25)
One of the young boys who rides his bicycle in our parking lot said “We have no other place like this to play”. We dream of providing a play space for the children, a large, safe area for families to rest or release energy.
The Memorial Garden is a dream project and has only just begun with two small trees. We have been dreaming, as a church, of ways to help people grieve with a place to sit and reflect, to grieve, to perhaps listen to the water as it flows.
Parkwood Mennonite Home and Senior’s Community Centre, Waterloo
Parkwood Mennonite Home, located next to RIM Park in Waterloo, has served seniors in the community, of all faiths and backgrounds, for 45 years. Parkwood currently consists of 96 long-term care beds, 84 assisted-living suites and independent-living apartments and 18 Garden Homes, providing seniors with access to all levels of care. Our facility includes a Community Health and Wellness Centre for Seniors which is open to public membership.
Parkwood is more than a senior’s facility, it is home for the 230 seniors who live here. It is the home of parents, grandparents and great-grandparents where children come to visit. It is a part of the community, with many people coming to use its fitness centre and pool or to volunteer their time with our more isolated, frail residents.
We want this to be a home where we would all like to spend our final years, relaxing in the garden, enjoying nature and the company of family, friends and neighbours. The splash and burble of a Waterfall, its moving currents and bright reflections attracts our eyes and ears and lifts our hearts. A Waterfall brings birds to drink and bathe. Children love to point out the marvel of things moving and hidden in the water and to put their feet in to test its depths.
As we all age, we hope to continue to take pleasure in life, finding joy in talking to the people around us and comfort in familiar surroundings. In a care setting, it is important to cultivate opportunities and spaces where seniors can meet, listen to and be heard by other people, to contribute and be involved in community activities. Our garden will be a safe and engaging place for residents and visitors to join in conversation, exploration, purposeful work and appreciation of nature and each other.