New Welcoming Garden greets patients, visitors and staff to Owen Sound hospital

         Welcoming Garden – for larger view, Click                                   on Image

In what was once a dry, barren stretch of boulevard at the main entrance of the Owen Sound Regional Hospital, is now a lush colourful welcoming garden filled with plantings.

“Hospitals are often associated with stress and anxiety for many people and we recognize there are many ways to build a positive experience, both indoors and outdoors,” said Gary Sims, President and CEO of Grey Bruce Health Services (GBHS). “We focus on the front-line workers and all the deliverables but we often forget those pieces that adorn the hospital. We forget what it means to be surrounded by nature and it’s nice to be reminded to think about the trees and the grasses.  This has been tremendous and I know we will continue to move forward on more projects.”

Sims was speaking at the recent official opening of the Welcoming Garden at the main entrance of the Owen Sound Regional Hospital.

                                                   For larger view, Click on Image

NeighbourWoods North, a sub-committee of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists (OSFN), decided that a project was to transform what was a drab grass island in front of the hospital main entrance into a garden – a garden that would being beauty to the area and create a soothing environment for patients, families and staff.  The Committee headed up by Vicky Thompson included members Mayda Palcic-Reid, Krista McKee, Michael Jeavons, Adrian Hussey and Brendan Mulroy.

                     Chair Vicky Thompson (R) thanks Volunteers – for larger view, Click on Image

The organization of NeighbourWoods North is a volunteer-driven Garden Committee that began the planning project in 2019 and whose members maintain the garden.  The garden consists of a wide variety of plantings that include 47 shrubs of eight species, 280 perennials, 67 native grasses and 300 Spring bulbs with the last to be planted this Fall.

“We could never have achieved this garden without out volunteers, donors and contributors,” said Vicky Thompson, Chair of the Welcoming Garden committee.  “We have to thank TD Friends of the Environment for their $7,000 grant and the Master Gardners of Grey County for their $1,000 donation but there are so many other supporters who gave in-kind donations and time, including: Paul Brydges of Brydges Architecture for the garden plans, Hayes Cedar Wood Chips, NeighbourWoods North Garden Committee,Grey Bruce Health Services, Owen Sound Ledgerock, Trophies Two, Hutton Landscaping and many local nurseries for plantings.”

Thompson pointed out that the garden is made up primarily of native plantings that require little maintenance and that are drought tolerant such as Russian sage grass, Black-eye Susan, Sedums and various grasses.

For larger view, Click on Images