The Green Space is Open!
Despite the very rainy day, the SJH community celebrated the completion of the Green Space Project albeit with an indoor ceremony. This summer, St. Joseph Home residents, respite guests and day program participants have more opportunities than ever before to enjoy and benefit from the natural delights of the outdoors. Six acres in the northwest portion of the 33-acre campus have been transformed into The Green Space, offering a quarter-mile walking trail and a sensory lane, an enclosed picnic shelter, memorial garden, wetland-like areas and scenic overlooks.
The June 21 ribbon cutting featured the dedication of the picnic shelter which was named after a long-time resident’s grandmother, Heddy Freese, and will be lovingly known as ‘Oma’s Pavilion’. Additionally, the Green Space Planning Committee was able to extend their gratitude to the many supporters of the project which include; The SC Ministry Foundation; The Farmer Family Foundation, The Helen G., Henry F., & Louise Tuechter Dornette Foundation (Fifth Third Bank, Trustee), The Sutphin Family Foundation, Josephine Schell Russell Charitable Trust (PNC Bank, Trustee), The John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust (PNC Bank, Trustee) and more than 200 generous individuals.
The Green Space reflects the overall spirit of St. Joseph Home’s ministry and the mission of the facility’s founders, the Sisters of Charity. One of the aspects of their mission statement is to care for creation, so The Green Space fits into that very well. The walking path also symbolizes St. Joseph Home’s commitment to the concept of residents belonging to and engaging with the community at large. Many times, in our culture, people with developmental disabilities are cast aside to the margins. So, at the core of what we do is the conversation about making sure residents not only engage with the community but are acknowledged as gifted people with something to offer. It’s important we create space for that, and this project created an inviting space for our community where our residents will also participate. We use the language of belonging because it communicates that when people belong somewhere, they’re not just included, but recognized as valued contributors. And that’s important to us.