Dozens of people gathered around the fountain at Bethesda Hospital Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the completion of the healing gardens on Wednesday.
Garth Reimer, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Bethesda Foundation, indicates that the park was originally conceived as an addition to the cancer care facility, but adds it is also a valuable resource for the entire hospital. “I’ve driven by often and seen all kinds of people having either an unimportant chat about the hockey game last night or a very important chat about life and death, and a hospital is a natural setting for that to occur.”
Reimer notes that the garden has around 20 strategically placed private benches allowing many groups of people to enjoy the space at once without infringing on one other’s privacy.
Because of the hospital’s significant expansion in recent years, Reimer suggests protecting this green space by renovating the healing gardens was essential. “Parks are important for the emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being of patients, and The CEO of Cancer Care Manitoba reaffirms this,” states Reimer.
The Bethesda Foundation Healing Garden will be home to a plaque bearing an explanation of the garden and the organization's new logo. Director on the Board of Bethesda Foundation Marg Rempel came up with the text on the plaque, she says the logo has symbolic significance too: “The shades of blue refer to the healing pools of Bethesda. We went with a stylized cross because that is a traditional identifier of health-related organizations, and we opened up the cross so we would have what looks like an intersection. We felt that that represented community because people come and go in different directions and nothing is closed off.”
Reimer says the entire project was made possible by two donors: Milton Penner, from Penner International, and the Hylife Corporation. Because of their generosity, Reimer suggests the people of Steinbach are able to spend time having all kinds of meaningful conversations with loved ones in a beautiful garden.