A healing garden proposed for Columbia House

Society planning garden on southeast corner of retirement home

There is a non-profit organization in town that has an altruistic purpose, that being, to change the lives of those in the care of Columbia House and their loved ones. The Columbia House Enhancement Society (CHES) was born through the Columbia House Family Council. The council consists of residential family members, Columbia House and Interior Health staff, alumni and other interested parties.

The main objective of the society is to help secure funds to support programs to ensure that residents and their families enjoy a higher quality of living while in care.

Currently, the society is in the midst of creating a comprehensive plan to establish a healing garden. The garden will be available to Invermere & District Hospital visitors and patients, Columbia Gardens, and the community.

“We’re going to build a healing garden on the southeast corner of Columbia House. It will have wheel-chair accessibility and people who are visiting the hospital can go there. It’s going to be a really nice spot,” said CHES Member John Newton.

According to Mr. Newton, the garden is well on its way thanks to a large sum of money that was bequeathed to them. But the project is still in need of a green light to go ahead with construction.

“Right now we’re doing the planning stage … and then we’ll start fundraising. We’ve got Hybrid Landscaping helping us out and we’re grateful for the support we’ve got so far and we’re excited about the project,” said Mr. Newton. “If people want to donate money, we’ll take it, and we want to get the plan together first so that people know what they’re getting into.”

The garden will also act as a beautification project while ensuring that residents have the opportunity to gaze at the mountains and enjoy some fresh air, a component that is essential to promote healing and recovery, according to CHES Board Member Nora Efford.

Ms. Efford’s mother was a resident coping with Alzheimers at Columbia House for over six years and she recalls that a healing garden would have improved the wellbeing of everyone involved by combatting the clinical atmosphere.

“I went in most days to help her with one of her meals and it’s very difficult to go in everyday with someone who can’t communicate with you —it’s very difficult for the patients because things don’t change, the air quality is the same, you sit in the same spot at the same time inside the building. The staff is absolutely wonderful; they do everything they can to make it interesting and changing but there’s still those factors that don’t change,” said Ms. Efford.

Fundraising will be a key element to seeing the plans come to fruition.

“We’re at the point where we’re ready to present the plans to Interior Health because they’re the ones that have to give us the go ahead,” she said.

If all goes well construction will begin in the spring with a call for volunteers who will be needed to accompany residents outside.

Just Posted

Young Hearts Triathlon

Annual event saw racers of all ages swim, bike, and run their way to a cheering finish line on Saturday, July 13th

Museum presents old time film festival

Series of six films Saturday, July 20th through Sunday, July 21st at museum

Peddling the practice of bikepacking

Growing sport of backcountry biking in the Valley

Balancing aesthetics and affordability in Canal Flats

Canal Flats Council briefs of July 8th

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read