A stone patio for the Garden of Hope was recently assembled by our Rotary Club members.  
     Did you know there is an oasis for people-plant nurturing on the grounds of Good Samaritan Hospital? Many have been to the hospital numerous times and never knew this wellness garden existed. The Garden of Hope is one of three Catholic Charities of Rockland County's community-wide garden initiatives founded in 2010. The garden has developed over the years by the support of volunteers, hospital staff, community members and horticultural therapists. Anne Meore is a registered Horticultural Therapist and the Garden Project Coordinator. 
     Early Sunday September 5, members of the club met at the garden for a brief explanation by Anne Meore of how the garden is used for wellness.   The primary purpose was to donate the produce to a local food pantry, provide horticultural education and horticultural therapy to members of the community and hospital. The beauty and quiet of the garden is used by Frawley Mental Health therapists for session with patients as well as for staff members for breaks.  During COVID-19 the garden was used my many more staff members to refresh and recharge during shifts. 
     Suffern Rotary Club has completed 3 projects in The Garden of Hope: a meditation fountain, a bench and recently the stone patio. Ann Meore reached out to Howard Wilen, a fellow Good Sam staff member, with the idea to take a bare shady corner of the garden into a patio and place Adirondack chairs.  Howard enlisted a team of Rotarians to get the job done. Jim Osborne donated some patio stones, tools and used his landscaping skills to direct the labor.  
     The team commenced with clearing debris with raked and shovels in hand. Sand was laid, larger stones were laid on the outer edge, gravel wheeled in from the gravel pit out back and tamped down. Some large stones removed from around a rotted tree stump were artistically placed between two trees and another on the visible corner near a fence. Next came the patio stones to be fitted closely together like a jigsaw puzzle pieces. The last few patio stones took some negotiating discussion and rearranging to fit perfectly into place. 
     With the many helpful Rotarian hands the end result took about 3 hours to complete. May hospital staff members and patients find many hours of peace and relaxation in those new Adirondack chairs resting on the newly placed patio stones.