Reflection garden to open in May
August Pelliccio – News Writer
The Reflection garden was a mere concept when first reported by Southern News in spring 2013. Bill Faraclas said the first piece, a remembrance garden, will be open to the public in May.
The garden in whole is a large-scale project being planned by a council of committee members, Faraclas being co-chair thereof.
“We can’t build all of this garden at once,” said Faraclas, “so we’re starting with one area.”
After the council’s vision sessions, beginning in March 2017, Southern released literature about the project’s dedication to social justice, which can be found on the Reflection Garden page of the school’s website. Illustrated there is the summary of the three design sessions, which co-chair Dan Camenga said focused on student, faculty and staff, community voices, respectively.
The remembrance garden will be an area of compassion, one of president Joe Bertolino’s five pillars of social justice. Faraclas said other parts of the project will include areas of dignity and respect, kindness and civility.
“This is a community that cares,” said Camenga, “and these values will be for the first time ever, reflected in a physical garden space.”
Faraclas explained why this first project is formally titled the SCSU Sandy Hook Alumnae Remembrance Garden.
“Within the remembrance garden there will be a memorial to four women,” said Faraclas, “our four Southern family members who died.”
Final renderings have been made of the large wooden monument that will be front and center in the remembrance garden, and Faraclas said it is in production now. The committee has taken measures, he said, to make sure the garden and monument within will stand the test of time.
“We are having this monument build by a yacht builder,” said Faraclas. “One of the finest in the world.”
According to Faraclas, Brooklin Boat Yard, out of Brooklin, Maine, has a method to preserve and treat wood used on boats that they will be applying to the monument.
They are not the only donor giving time and design expertise to the project, Faralcas said Eli Whitney Technical School will be building the large, comfortable wooden bench featured in the garden, pro bono.
“This is supported by the community for the community,” said Camenga. “Those who have been involved want this vision to happen.”
The council has confirmed a date of May 4, for a community event opening the remembrance garden, at which it will be ceremoniously dedicated to those four Southern alumnae.
As for other aspects of the large project, the co-chairs of the council said committee members have contributed excellent ideas that have not been finalized yet.
“Some of those ideas are right at the tip of our fingers,” said Camenga.
Assigning the rock garden outside the Academic Science and Laboratory Building as an area that represents respect, for example, is a possibility according to Camenga.
Faraclas said also that the pathways leading from each piece of the campus-wide garden project might be dedicated as “paths of kindness.” He said the project at large will cover much of the campus, and integrate campus into the community.
“This garden will beautify our campus,” said Faraclas, “but it will do much more than that”
Photo Courtesy: William Faraclas