‘Garden of Life’ needs your help

Press Release

The Riverside Foundation for Health Care is looking at revitalizing the “Garden of Life” located in front of La Verendrye General Hospital.
The garden, a dream of liver recipient Patti-Jo Reid, had its sod-turning ceremony in 1999. It was developed to symbolize the chance of new life through the kindness and selfishness of those who choose to donate their organs.
The garden is funded through donations to the Foundation designated to the “Garden of Life” fund, which ran dry in 2017.
Now maintained by Reid’s cousin, Tammy McCabe, the garden originally held plants that symbolized different organs, such as a bleeding heart.
Over the years, the perennials in the garden have died or become overgrown, and the retaining wall has begun to dilapidate.
In addition to planting new perennials and revamping the retaining wall, McCabe would like to see the garden extended, as well as a watering system installed.
The Foundation is launching a fundraising campaign to replenish the “Garden of Life” fund so it may receive a new chance at life–much like organ recipients do because of donors that the garden honours, with a grand re-opening scheduled for next spring.
The campaign is kicking off with a Vesey Bulbs fundraiser, in which 50 percent of all catalogue sales of bulbs, flower seeds, and edible seeds are retained by the Foundation and will be put in the “Garden of Life” fund.
If you would like to see a catalogue, or are interested in placing an order or making a donation, contact the Foundation office at 274-4803 or via e-mail at allison.cox@rhcf.on.ca.
Tax receipts will be issued for any monetary donations received.
All orders must be received by April 22, which coincides with the beginning of National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week.
Since the garden serves as a visual reminder of the importance of the need for registered organ and tissue donors, we are encouraging everyone to visit beadonor.ca to check if they are a donor or to register as one.
In addition, have that important conversation with your loved ones about your organ donation wishes.
If you are interested in volunteering your time to assist with the garden maintenance over the spring and summer months, contact the Foundation office at the phone number or e-mail address above.