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Tri-Cities Garden Club adopts Memory Garden

Becky Vargo • Apr 10, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Volunteers from the Tri-Cities Garden Club deadheaded shrubs, raked leaves and put down weed inhibitor during their first work session to clean up the William Van Regenmorter Memory Garden on Tuesday morning.

“We’re getting everything ready for spring growth,” said Sue Fosse, as she pointed at little spikes of green poking up through the brittle, brown leaves.

The local garden club recently adopted the Memory Garden, located outside the Ottawa County Courthouse in Grand Haven, at the request of Joan Grillo, victim rights coordinator for the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office.

The late state Sen. William Van Regenmorter, an Ottawa County resident, authored the Michigan Crime Victims’ Rights Act. The garden was dedicated in his honor during a July 2017 ceremony.

“Since that time, the garden has matured and is in need of some specialized attention,” Grillo said. “The Tri-Cities Garden Club has graciously offered to donate their time and talent toward its upkeep. How fitting for them to start the spring cleanup during National Crime Victims Rights Week.”

Grillo said the week was established to honor victims of crime whose lives have been lost and to champion the resilience of survivors and their courage to persevere.

The garden, which also includes a small fountain and benches, was created as a place for anyone to have some peaceful moments. It also contains memorial bricks, which were sold to help fund the garden.

“This is our passion,” Fosse said in noting why the women were doing the work in the cool morning.

Fosse noted the club maintains other garden areas including a planter box in downtown Grand Haven, the Blue Star Memorial, the Ferry School Youth Garden, the triangle median at the intersection of U.S. 31 and M-104 in Ferrysburg, and the Ottawa County Parks’ Weaver House.

Membership director Sandy Minuth said the club has 74 members, but they always welcome more. The group meets on the second Monday of every month at Spring Lake District Library.

The club’s big fundraiser, the Garden Walk, will be held June 22, with all eight gardens being in Grand Haven Township. The club’s flower show is July 11-13 at Spring Lake District Library.

For more information on the garden club, go online to tricitiesgardenclub.org.

Bricks can still be purchased for the Memory Garden at miottawa.org/Courts/Prosecutor/memory_garden.htm.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation of any amount, write a check payable to “Ottawa County” and note “Memory Garden” in the memo section. Donations can be mailed to: Joan Grillo, victim rights coordinator, Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office, 414 Washington Ave., Room 120, Grand Haven, MI 49417.

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