ARH creating new garden for 50th anniversary

Published 2:12 am Friday, February 26, 2016

Shown is the area in which the new ARH Legacy Garden will go.  Kendra Majors/Star-News

Shown is the area in which the new ARH Legacy Garden will go.
Kendra Majors/Star-News

Construction is under way at Andalusia Regional Hospital of a Legacy Garden, which is just one of the things planned for the hospital’s golden anniversary celebration.

“This is a project we kicked off in early February,” CEO John Yanes said. “It’s been in the planning stages for several months, and will be the signature event for our 50th anniversary celebration.”

The garden will be situated in front of the ARH’s front entrance. Yanes said it will have a park-like feel to it, and will feature shade trees, flowering trees and have an inscribed brick area.

“This is a great way to commemorate the birth of a child, an anniversary, or to honor an ARH employee or former employee,” Yanes said. “The Legacy Garden is very prominent and very visible, and highlights the legacy the hospital has in caring for the community.”

Vanessa Nelson designed the landscaping, and the work is being done by local vendors.

ARH is selling the engraved bricks for $100. Cornerstones are available for $250. Yanes said there is a display in the lobby with an artist’s rendering of the garden, and forms for the purchase of bricks are available there.

Proceeds from the brick sales will go into a fund to promote wellness in the community.

“The roles of hospitals have changed from sick care to more of a broader range of services to include health and wellness in the past 50 years,” Yanes said.

He would like to use the fund for education initiatives that address chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. Yanes said that could include offering more exercise activities, and partnering with other organizations that have a similar vision and mission of health and wellness.

With that in mind, ARH is hosting a 5K for its anniversary celebration on April 16, and hopes it will become an annual event.

There also will be activities at the hospital to promote health and wellness, with lots of focus on kids.

“It will have a fair-like feel to it,” he said.

Organizations like the American Red Cross, home health agencies, or others that are a part of delivering care or improving health in the community are welcome to participate, he said. There is no charge for participation.