Long Standing Tradition Lives On in Morris Hospital’s New Serenity Garden
September 20, 2022, MORRIS, IL – After more than three years of planning and preparations, Morris Hospital’s new Serenity Garden is now open adjacent to the hospital’s main entrance, providing an outdoor area for patients, visitors and staff that offers a quiet and peaceful place for reflection.
Funded by the Morris Hospital Foundation, the Serenity Garden is accessible through a dedicated doorway off the main lobby and features a variety of seating areas that offer varying levels of privacy, including a semi-private meditation space separated by foliage. The “halo’ gathering nook features a half arch pergola that was custom made for Morris Hospital. The garden is open during the hospital main lobby hours of operation.
Even without stepping outside, patients and visitors can enjoy the garden’s beauty through the floor to ceiling windows in the main lobby hallway. Night time features make the garden visible from the hallway after dark, which will be especially appreciated during the winter months.
Morris Hospital’s original Serenity Garden that was created in 2006 was converted to indoor space for the new Women’s Imaging Center as part of the hospital’s main campus renovations that have been ongoing since 2019. Planning for the new Serenity Garden involved input from a team of employees who worked together to conceptualize the new garden, share ideas, and eventually approve the plans and renderings.
“A few years ago when we learned that we were going to be relocating the garden, it was really moving to watch the group that conceptualized the new garden put such thoughtfulness into the whole process,” says Hannah Wehrle, Auxiliary & Foundation Officer at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers. “Ever since the original garden opened in 2006, the Serenity Garden has had such important meaning for so many people. When you would round the hallway leading to the previous garden, you might come upon visitors celebrating a new life or taking a moment to prayer for a loved one. Or you might see staff celebrating because they just saved a life or needed a moment to re-group. To see how the garden has been transformed to this new space where patients, visitors, and employees can say a prayer, have a laugh, cry, or hug a loved one is truly special. We’ve all missed the space tremendously, and it’s great to see the Serenity Garden back in its new location.”
George McComb, President of the Morris Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, and Michael Hoover generously donated their time to plant the new garden and will remain two of the dedicated volunteers who care for the new space, with all costs including the purchase of trees and plants funded by the Morris Hospital Foundation.
All of the memorials and engraved bricks from the original garden are being moved to the new location. The Morris Hospital Foundation continues to accept tribute and memorial gifts through the purchase of stone pavers for the garden.
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