Celebration Garden Project
Since the opening of the building in 2004 individuals have placed commerative pavers on the plaza patio. Some honor weddings or births, others memorials, and some are just expressions of joy. But the pavers became part of the patio surface and it is just didn’t seem right to walk on them, especially memorials.
With the Patio Enhancement Project came the opportunity to relocate the commemorative pavers.
In 2021, Gene Kain donated a wonderful metal sculpture “Tilt #2” which now rests just off the plaza patio. The commemorative pavers will ring the art, giving them a better place of honor, very close to the Sanctuary but in a separate setting.
And what to name this new Garden? The commemorative pavers celebrated weddings, births, deaths and more. Celebration is the common theme. Our new Celebration Garden honors the love behind each of these, and the sculpture forms the center point.
The prior commemorative pavers are no longer available, and the engraving has not held up well. New additions will be of higher quality material and better engraving, and are now called Sacred Stones. Several have already been commissioned and placed. Purchases fund the Sacred Grounds Initiative.
Celebration Garden Access
Extending directly off the plaza patio, a new sidewalk will circle the Sacred Stones and sculpture, with full ADA access. The circular style will allow multiple people into the Garden and will also eliminate any need for wheelchairs to turn around.
Sacred Stones will be placed both inside and outside of the ring.
Celebration Garden Art
In addition to the metal sculpture and Sacred Stones, the walkway itself will be a Celebration of Flowers art installation. John Ressler has designed a stylized pattern of native desert flowers (encelia) to be embossed and colored on the walkway surface.
Semi-Private Quiet Contemplation
A small native Bladderpod hedge will screen the Celebration Garden from the parking lot but preserve the open territorial views of the Little San Bernardino mountains providing a quiet place for reflection.
A future footpath will continue past the Sacred Stones and art, coursing over to the giant Desert Museum Palo Verde. Under it will be tucked a bench for quiet contemplation, or perhaps for a private discussion away from the plaza.
This garden borders our blow-sand area, where the endangered Coachella Valley Milkvetch lives (the future site of the Blow Sand Demonstration Garden). We will add further native plantings appropriate for this critical habitat.
The Celebration Garden will be built October 2-6, funded through Sacred Grounds donations. Coloring of the embossed designs in the waalkway will occur about a month later. Dedication of the garden will occur after worship service on December 3.
(The bench and footpath are future enhancements.)