Thursday, June 4, 2015

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Recent grad helps build a peaceful area where members of the Bastyr community can relax, recharge and reflect.
President Daniel K. Church and his wife Lorinda Blews Church sitting in the  “Moonlit Garden”.
President Daniel K. Church and his wife Lorinda Blews Church sitting in the “Moonlit Garden”.

Sometimes a perceived negative can turn into overwhelming positive. Such is the story behind how the new Bastyr Moonlit Garden, recently unveiled and named in honor of retiring Bastyr President Daniel K. Church and his wife Lorinda Blews Church, came about.

Nestled within Bastyr University’s Student Village, the garden was dedicated, amid the release of butterflies, at the annual Community Day celebration in May.

According to Sheila Kingsbury, ND, RH (AHG), chair of the Department of Botanical Medicine, the garden — designed by a student — took nine months from concept to completion and came about in a serendipitous way.

One day, Natalie Place, a graduate of the Certificate in Holistic Landscape Design (’14) program, missed the shuttle bus leaving campus. Frustrated, she had a self-described “meltdown” before reaching out to others for a ride home. The numerous offers from fellow students and the positive support she received was overwhelming.

As a way to repay their generosity, she envisioned building a peaceful place on campus where other stranded students could sit and wait if they missed their rides. This coincided with the University making plans to commemorate President and Mrs. Church’s decade of service to the Bastyr community.

What began as a student passion project turned into a beautiful permanent tribute to honor a generous couple.

With a granite bench, wooden arbor where grapes will grow, peach trees and flowering quince shrubs, the garden offers a place for quiet reflection while simultaneously providing a fresh snack for those who sit there. The garden also includes night-blooming flowers that fit perfectly with a brass dedication plaque featuring an excerpt from “Ode to a Nightingale” by poet John Keats.

The Bastyr Moonlit Garden is a place where you can’t help but smile for a number of reasons, no matter what is going on in your day.