Spotlight on Memorial Gardens
Chairman Carolyn Pinto
We gather here today in a solemn observance of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack on our nation here at "The Healing Garden".

In September 2002 on this state property, 78 smoketrees purchased by the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, Inc. were planted in honor of the 78 fallen Staten Island Fireman in this attack in a dramatic groundbreaking ceremony. The grove of trees is called the Fireman's Grove "No Greater Gift". The trees were watered by the fireman and they flourished. In September 2003 another section was added, The Patriot's Path "Freedom is Not Free". This section was created to honor all Staten island victims - our firemen and our neighbors they tried to save in the World Trade Center. The grove and path is call "The Healing Garden". It is a registered USDA National Living Memorial created and maintained by the First District of the Federated Garden Clubs of New york State, Inc. and the Staten Island Community.

Through "The Healing Garden" the observance of September 11, 2001 is everyday for garden club members. It is our mission by grant writing, fundraising and labor to maintain the garden with dignity everyday throughout the years.

For the 10th anniversary observance we are reflecting not only on the victims and their families but on the first responders and workers after the devastation. These brave men put their own health at risk to rescue others and to remove the debris that horrified us, our great city and our nation.

Many of these men suffer physical and emotional damage due to their selflessness. We are extremely grateful to them for getting our lives and city back to normal. We pray that they should stay healthy for all their years. May God Bless them for their great act of kindness.

We also reflect on the brave men and woman who went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of 9/11. They fight to remove the evil that conspire to destroy the United States of America. We are standing here with all our freedoms in place due to all these heroic soldiers who love their country more than themselves. We reflect on those soldiers who died for their countrymen and for their families.

It is a great honor for me to be chairwoman of "The Healing Garden". I feel it is a very small task compared to the great sacrifices made by others. "The Healing Garden" would not be possible without the greatest, first class group of woman on Staten Island - The members of the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, Inc.. I am proud to be a member of this organization. The members of the garden club want you to know that they care and share in the tragedy and sorrow of September 11, 2001 and the sorrow thereafter. "The Healing Garden" is our gift. It is a place for comfort, a sign of compassion and a reminder to us all of how lives were changed on that day. It is for Staten Island, our home.

As we leave this solemn observance may we take with us words of reflection printed on a sign in "The Healing Garden": "Let us not forget them. Let us not belittle them by failing to keep faith with the best we have seen in humanity. Let us not be less than the best that we have seen."

by Carolyn Pinto

District Seven of Monroe County is proud of their memorial garden at the 
Rochester Museum & Sceience Center , 
657 East Avenue, Rochester, New York in honor of their past district director, Mary E. Shifer

MARY E. SLIFER MEMORIAL GARDEN originated in 1975 as a wildflower garden and then upon Mary’s death in January 1978 at the age of 92, the garden was modified and native ferns, her favorite interest, were especially emphasized. Other attractive plants were included to add color from March to November.

It was a lifelong dream of Mrs. Walter B. Slifer to have a native plant garden in Rochester. She was a charter member of the Bergen Swamp Preservation Society and was instrumental in its preservation. She was also the state conservation chairman for the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, Inc. and a member of several other notable and worthwhile organizations.  

The garden has been maintained through the years by members of seventh district’s garden clubs and for the last 10 years has been maintained by district seven’s Landing Rock Garden Club. It is in excellent condition, and there are plans for soil amendments and additions of new plants for 2009. 
Thank you KAREN TEEGARDEN of district seven
for submitting the information on this very special memorial garden.