New Serenity Garden at Adult Day Healthcare Center

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Provided by Prince William County

Jason Parsons, executive director Keep Prince William Beautiful, left and Charles Shutt, Keep Prince William Beautiful environmental programs coordinator, prepare to plant rose bushes for the Adult Daycare Beautification project at the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building in Woodbridge.

Jason Parsons, executive director Keep Prince William Beautiful, left and Charles Shutt, Keep Prince William Beautiful environmental programs coordinator, prepare to plant rose bushes for the Adult Daycare Beautification project at the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building in Woodbridge.

A couple of area businesses, a not-for-profit outfit and a civic organization recently partnered with the Prince William Area Agency on Aging to create a “Serenity Garden” in the circle in front of the Adult Day Healthcare Center at the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo building in Woodbridge.
The garden, with freshly planted rose bushes, azaleas and a seven-foot Leyland cypress tree, all donated by the Lakeridge Nursery, is designed to give caregivers a place to take a break from the stress of caring for their loved ones who are suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia and other degenerative diseases.
Sarah Henry, the director of the Area Agency on Aging, said having the garden just outside the building will help everyone involved with the center. “Being a caregiver is a very stressful job and responsibility, so we feel that as someone is coming into our center – to have a calming atmosphere and a beautiful environment – makes it a little bit less stressful when you’re coming in to pick up your loved one from our program. It also creates a nice environment for our staff. There’s an opportunity to go outside when they’re on breaks and have a time of reflection in that beautiful space that was created.”
Jason Parsons, executive director of the not-for-profit Keep Prince William Beautiful, said the project fits in with what the organization does. “We’re here because it’s an important project for the community, and this facility has meant a lot to a lot of families and a lot of folks dealing with very serious issues. We wanted to beautify the earth a little in keeping with our mission to help bring peace to the people who are served here.”
Prince William supervisors Maureen S. Caddigan and John D. Jenkins recently spoke at a ceremony to dedicate the garden after the project’s completion and said the project would not have happened without the community partners that also included volunteers from Mom’s Organic Market in Woodbridge, The North Face of Woodbridge and the Dale City-Prince William County Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction.
Jenkins said he was “pleased” that so many people came together to make the beautification project possible. “This is an example of a true partnership for the greater good of the community. Many volunteers have come together to make this happen and it’s a true testament of the love and compassion in the community.”
“This gives me the wonderful opportunity to thank Keep Prince William Beautiful and for the beautification efforts here,” Caddigan said of the organization that spearheaded the effort. “It is lovely. Keep Prince William Beautiful is an excellent partner with the county in all that they do to educate the community and work to keep it beautiful. I want to say thank you to everyone who worked on this wonderful, wonderful project.”
Pauline Hunter, the chapter organizer for the local Top Ladies of Distinction, a humanitarian service organization, said her organization’s mission fit in with what Keep Prince William Beautiful does. Top Ladies of Distinction has several programs it administers throughout the nation, with chapters doing the work locally. “One of the major programs is beautification and supporting senior citizens,” Hunter said. “This was a great opportunity for us to come together with Keep Prince William Beautiful and do this project.”
Cassie Luz, of Lake Ridge Nursery, helped organize the work during the planting at the garden. She said her family has experience with being caregivers, so she knows the importance of being able to take an occasional break. “My family has had members with dementia, Alzheimer’s. When this project was brought to us, it was close to our heart, so we wanted to be able to give back.”
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