The Centre is growingWhat was once a sparse patch of grass and weeds outside The New Richmond Area Centre is turning into a garden.
What was once a sparse patch of grass and weeds outside The New Richmond Area Centre is turning into a garden.
Volunteers from the Willow River Garden Club, Faith Works of Faith Community Church and Centre members started the transformation on Monday.
“Our goal was to take a seldom used area at the entrance of the building and make it a lovely place to meander through as well as something pleasing to look at for members and the neighborhood, keeping New Richmond ‘The City Beautiful,’” said Rochelle Haugen, senior programs coordinator at The Centre, who spearheaded the project.
Two members of The Centre – who also happen to be members of the garden club – suggested that the space be turned into a garden.
Then Lois Sommerfeldt and Carolyn Craig set to work designing the space. There’s a small walking path and elevated perms to create interest. Because of the height of the building’s windows, the garden will be visible from inside too.
Plants are mostly perennials. The Centre bought a Japanese tree lilac and a couple of other plants, but the majority were donated by Willow River Garden Club members and friends. The plants came from 12 local gardens, Sommerfeldt estimated.
A local business and a member donated other needed supplies, like rock.
Craig, who’s been a club member for 46 years, said they have done many projects like the one at The Centre in New Richmond over the years.
Assisting in the gardening was a team of Faith Works volunteers, including Tanya Dean, Patty Peterson, Lisa Riemenschneider and Dick Hennlich. Dawn Velez, a Centre member, also worked on it.
Faith Works is a New Richmond-based week-long mission trip sponsored by Faith Community Church of New Richmond. About 300 people have volunteered to invest time and sweat in local projects, like building handicap accessible ramps, organizing at Five Loaves Food Shelf and roofing. This is the second year of the mission project.
The new garden is more than nice looking plants though, Haugen said.
“The main focus of The Centre is community.” Haugen said. “This was a huge community project. And nobody’s getting paid,” she added with a laugh.