Lehigh Valley

Group plans memorial garden for children

PALMER TWP., Pa. - If all goes as planned for Johhn Szabo Jr., The Compassionate Friends, a self-help organization for families who lost a child of any age, will open a commemorative garden inside the Pierce Memorial Gardens in Palmer Township.

Szabo, president of the organization's Easton chapter, presented his concept to the Palmer Township Board of Supervisors Tuesday night.

Szabo is so passionate about the project, he vowed to maintain the garden himself. And no matter who pulls the weeds, Palmer Township won't foot the bill; The Compassionate Friends will pay all construction and maintenance costs.

Szabo teamed up with Jamie Collins, the landscape architect responsible for the Pierce Gardens, to design the proposed space. Collins wants to create a meditative atmosphere, so she plans on constructing a seat wall, planting butterfly plants, and increasing the number of evergreen trees to further separate the site from Route 22.

It will also include a patio with pavers bearing the organization's logo and memorial bricks available for purchase.

The garden will have its own entrance, but will be accessible to Pierce Gardens visitors.
The Board wants the project to advance and feels it will fit perfectly into Pierce Gardens. The Gardens already has water on site and a public walking trail is in the works. Also, because many children populate the area—a Miracle League field is even slated to open nearby—a commemorative garden of this type is a fitting addition.

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