We're excited to be starting two new projects at the Owen Sound Hospital this year.
The Welcoming Garden
Late this spring we will be planting a Welcoming Garden on the traffic island near the hospital entrance, marked in red on the diagram. After replacing the packed dirt with good top soil and mulch, perennials will be added. In the fall, additional trees, shrubs, and more perennials will be planted. Additional visual elements such as landscape rocks will be added when appropriate.
The Healing Path
When the ground is hard enough to withstand heavy equipment the first portion of the 1.7 kilometer Healing Path will be built. We are starting in the southwest corner of the hospital grounds, across from the helicopter pad. The path will accommodate wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility assistance devices.
While incorporating the existing trees and rocks, we will be planting additional trees in the fall. Two areas will consist of smaller trees, shrubs, and perennials for variety, wildlife, and to provide sight lines for the helicopters. These areas are represented by the pink flowers on the diagram.
In 2017, NeighbourWoods North met with staff at Grey Bruce Health Services to discuss the possibility of naturalizing the hospital grounds to improve the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of patients, visitors, staff and community. In 2018, planting of The Forest of Hope and Healing was begun. Additionally a spruce windbreak was planted across from the Emergency Room entrance and flowering crabapples to line the laneway.
Last year we continued to care for the Forest: replacing trees that didn't make it, planting more trees, mulching, watering, and mowing. We continue to work on the Forest in 2020. We also began planting trees in the southwest area of the grounds, across from the helicopter pad.
We also raised money through local fundraisers and by grant applications. Both of these endeavors enabled us to begin more projects this year.
Volunteering in the Age of Covid-19
Volunteers are welcome and appreciated even in the age of Covid-19. Provided social distancing is adhered to, risks of contracting or spreading the virus appear at this time to be very low in an outdoor environment. (Bromage, E., May 6, 2020)
We are avoiding large groups of volunteers. The Forest, where we are working now, has been divided into sections with two leaders for each section. Leaders are given on the volunteer page, & contact page. If you know one or more, hook up with them privately as leaders work in the Forest on different days. If you don't know anyone, send us an email and we'll hook you up.
Send us an email if you're interested in volunteering for the Welcoming Garden so the committee members can get in touch with you when ready for planting.
We do rely on you to maintain social distancing while volunteering. For surface contact, we urge you to wear your gardening gloves and not to touch your face or other parts of your body while wearing your gloves. You should wash your gloves upon returning home.