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Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids Memorial Garden to Receive Prestigious Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association Community Landscape Beautification Award

Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids Memorial Garden to Receive Prestigious Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association Community Landscape Beautification Award

LANSING, Mich. – The Memorial Garden at Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids (MVHGR) will receive a 2021 Community Landscape Beautification Award bestowed by the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) at an award ceremony to be held at 1:30 p.m. on August 18, 2021, at 2950 Monroe Ave. NE, Grand Rapids. The community is invited to attend and join in the celebration of this prestigious recognition. Amy Upton, executive director of the MNLA, will present the award to the Home and Kent Garden Club.

While the initial conceptualization for the garden was led by Robert Troost, the Memorial Garden became a joint project between MVHGR and the Kent Garden Club and a campaign was launched to raise funds for its establishment. Over $18,000 was raised through the MVHGR, Kent Garden Club, Michigan Garden Club, Secchia Family Foundation, West Michigan Alliance for Veterans, veteran service organizations and the community-at-large to establish the garden for the benefit of members. The Kent Garden Club was instrumental in the architecture and installation of the garden's many features including a sugar gum tree donated by Twin Lakes Nursery of Grand Rapids, engraved paver brick pathways and bench seating for members of the Home to enjoy the outdoor space. The club will continue to plant and maintain the garden and will donate and install two memorial plaques this Fall to honor Blue Star and Gold Star families. The garden officially opened on July 6, 2021.

"We are excited to award the 2021 Community Landscape Beautification Award in recognition of the efforts by the community of Grand Rapids and the Kent Garden Club to establish a beautiful garden at the new MVHGR," said Amy Upton, executive director of the MNLA.

"The opening of the Memorial Garden at MVHGR provides yet another example of the amazing enthusiasm the community of Grand Rapids has for our members at the Home," said Tiffany Carr, community engagement coordinator for Michigan Veteran Homes. "We are excited that visitors to the Home and our members will get to explore and take in the beauty of the garden."

The Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association's Community Landscape Beautification Award Program recognizes outstanding communities for their excellence in improving the physical and aesthetic environment of their neighborhoods and in raising the awareness of the positive economic growth and environmental impacts that quality landscaping brings to Michigan's communities. These projects are designed to enhance the visual image of neighborhoods, improve livability, build civic pride and promote community spirit. 

"We wouldn't have been able to establish such a beautiful garden without the efforts of our club volunteers, the outpouring of donations from the community and donations from Twin Lakes Nursery," said Kathy Wolverton, immediate past president of the Kent Garden Club.