Last Monday, volunteers banded together to help clear an
overgrown section of Rydal Park; those involved in the project are probably
hoping the space sees an increase in foot traffic.
The goal is to create Abington’s first serenity garden.
Rydal Park, a non-profit continuing care retirement community in the corner of The Fairway and Susquehanna Road donated the land for the garden, the first in Abington to be built in memory of local 3-year-old Kate Elise Lambert, who was killed in 2005 when a large, unsecured cabinet fell on her. Her parents later formed Katie’s Foundation for Child Safety.
The volunteers, comprising Arcadia University students, Rydal Park residents and people from Meadowbrook Farms and Phil’s Landscaping Service, trimmed, pruned and cleared the overgrown space. They will work through the next couple of months to help create the serenity garden, which will likely be open to the public and dedicated next spring.
Daniel Kaye, Rydal Park Director of Life Enrichment and Katie’s Foundation board member, said the community was in need of such a garden.
“We decided after doing the butterfly release that we wanted to put places like this around Abington — where people can just be,” Kaye said. “It’s going to be a beautiful spot where people can feel comfortable.
Kaye called the Rydal Park location perfect.
“It’s overgrown, but we knew people wanted to get out here and enjoy it,” he said. “The spot was completely washed away by flood waters a couple of years ago, and it ruined a lot of what was back there. [Rydal Park] had no budget to fix it, and it became overgrown, but the residents really wanted to get out there and use it.”
Kaye said the foundation is looking to create several serenity gardens throughout the township. Though no other locations are finalized, he said he has received several emails from Glenside residents requesting such a garden.
State Rep. Madeleine Dean was also on hand for the event, and said that she’s a big supporter of Katie’s Foundation and the serenity garden project.
“I feel very strongly about Katie’s Foundation, and Rydal Park is such an important part of this community because it serves seniors so well,” Dean said. “To have this partnership with that foundation, and the Arcadia kids … it’s just a really cool partnership of people coming together to do something to improve this community. I just think it’s really fantastic.”
The serenity garden will be open to the public; Kaye said the foundation, with the help of volunteers, will help maintain the site.
For more information on Katie's Foundation for Child Safety, visit http://katieeliselambert.org.