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At 5:30 p.m. the formal presentation opened with remarks from president/CEO Craig Melin as he thanked donors for their part in making the long-awaited garden possible. Hospital Chaplain Becky Jones offered a blessing and an announcement that the hospital's chapel will be moving into a space featuring many windows adjacent to the garden. Staff perspective was given by Dan Barrieau, CNVIS Program Director, who described the garden using others' words such as "an oasis," among others. Melin wrapped up the formal remarks and offered final thanks.
Guests began arriving at 5 p.m., and eagerly looked for personally engraved bricks and plaques displayed on benches, trees, water features, planting beds and walkways they had sponsored throughout the garden. They were greeted with violin music played by recent UMass graduates and were welcomed to partake of a buffet of finger food.
Located in the space between the former Locust Street entrance and the North building, the garden offers a sanctuary for mobile patients, visitors, and staff who seek quiet time and a chance to connect with nature and self. Patients unable to enjoy the outdoor garden will have access to garden views from several treatment areas, hospital corridors, and patient rooms.
The garden showcases an exquisite courtyard complete with a meandering walkway, three water features, and interesting trees, grasses, and plantings. By day the garden is full of sun, but offers shade in the afternoon. In the evening, the garden's paths and select features are carefully lit.
An ongoing engraved brick program allows the community to continue to support the garden while, at the same time, offers thoughtful memories, quotes, or other meaningful words to be displayed in the garden's main walkway.
For more information about the Healing Garden at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, please contact (Carol Foote, Annual Giving Officer, 413-582-GIVE (4483).
Cooley Dickinson Hospital • 30 Locust St. (Route 9), Northampton, Mass. • (413) 582-2000