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Deerfield reflection garden takes shape

On Monday, several local volunteers and a crew from the Challenge Incarceration Program in New Richmond helped get the site for the new Deerfield reflection garden ready for installation and planting. (Photo by Jeff Holmquist)

The patio area at the newly expanded Deerfield senior living complex in New Richmond was abuzz with activity on Monday.

Volunteers with the Willow River Garden Club and a crew from the Challenge Incarceration Program were on hand to begin work on a new Reflection Garden for residents and visitors.

For the past several months, the local gardening group has been raising funds to cover the cost of the approximately $35,000 project. According to volunteer coordinators Carolyn Craig and Peggy Grubbs, enough money has now been donated to begin the first phase of the project.

"The people of New Richmond have been really generous," Grubbs said. "And the people living in The Deerfield and local businesses have been wonderful."

The Star Prairie Fish & Game organization has been a significant partner in the project so far, Grubbs said, as has the Doris Nelson Foundation. Other private and business donations have also been a big help.

The Willow River Garden Club members worked with Earthworks, a River Falls-based landscape company, to come up with a landscape plan for the garden.

To start things off, a rain garden, which includes native prairie plants, has already been created in the area nearest the Deerfield outdoor patio.

On Monday, workers were ripping out the sod in the adjoining area where the Reflection Garden will eventually be. Over the next two weeks, a walkway, wheelchair accessible planter areas, benches, decorative boulders, shrubs, trees and lighting will be installed.

"It's going to be a very pleasant area," Craig predicted.

Once the basic infrastructure of the garden is in, Grubbs said, the garden club members and Deerfield residents will plant the various flowers and plants. They hope to have the garden completely planted by this fall. Plant species for the garden are being chosen for their ability to attract plenty of birds and butterflies.

"The residents are all excited to see the progress," Grubbs said.

"We've had quite an audience of people watching us," Craig added, noting that one resident who is 100 years old is particularly interested in all the activity.

A fountain planned for the Reflection Garden will be installed at a later date, according to Craig, once additional funding is raised.


In unrelated news, the Willow River Garden Club is planning its first-ever New Richmond area garden tour for 2014 as a fundraiser for the group.

Many of the long-time club members will open up their extensive gardens to the public. The tour will feature all different gardening ideas -- ponds, fruits, flowers, vegetables, solar collectors and technology, geothermal heating and cooling, native plants, etc. In addition, club members will be demonstrating how to create different designs using flowers from the gardens.

Organizers are looking for an additional four or five gardens to include on this tour and would like to invite New Richmond area gardeners to take part.

Anyone interested in being a part of the tour, or those wishing to donate to the Reflection Garden, can contact Craig at 715-246-6242 or Grubbs at 715-248-3943.

Jeff Holmquist
Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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