PRESS RELEASE: Aug 16, 2019
Huron Hospice, along with the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA), is pleased to announce that a Memorial Forest will be created on the property behind the residence. Families can now plant a tree in memory of a loved one, and help establish a green legacy for generations to come. The forest will serve as a peaceful place for reflection and support well-being, grief and bereavement, and celebrating life.
The Forest will surround the Tranquility Trail, which was adopted as one of the official trails maintained by BRVTA earlier this summer. The trail winds through the back meadow and natural marsh on the rural estate of Huron Hospice between Goderich and Clinton (37857 Huron Rd, directly across from Woodland Links Golfcourse).
The proposed area of the forest is approximately six acres, and the current trail is open to hospice residents, their families, and the general public to enjoy. The Memorial Forest is a program designed to enhance the grounds of Huron Hospice, provide a place of respite, an engagement opportunity for the community, and create a sustainable legacy for future generations.
“You can now commemorate the life of a loved one by planting a tree – a living memorial that will grow and flourish over the years,'' says Helen Varekamp, member of BRVTA and the one responsible for envisioning the forest.
Jay McFarlan, co-chair of the board at Huron Hospice adds “We had considered many different ways to use the space behind our residential hospice. Establishing a Memorial Forest is definitely in line with the philosophy of hospice palliative care, and creates a special place where people can honour the life of their loved ones.”
Community members will have the opportunity to donate a tree in memory of a loved one, and participate in an annual dedication service. Donors can choose to display the names of their memorialized persons on a commemorative sign at the forest entrance. Ten different native tree species (both deciduous and evergreen) have been selected to create a mixed forest suitable for the area. Trees can be ordered through the Huron Hospice website and will be professionally planted in the fall of each year by Verbeeks Farm and Garden Centre. Orders received after August 31st will be processed the following year. The cost of a tree is $345.00, which includes a substantial tree, a five-year warranty, planting and the name of your loved one included on the annual memorial plaque at the entrance to the forest. Tax receipts will be issued for the full value of the tree.
This program is open to anyone who wants to remember the life of a loved one, and is not limited to those who have passed through the hospice. By working with local suppliers and the emphasis on native species, the Memorial Forest is a sustainable project that will promote a better environment for years to come.