Luther Home Courtyard Project
In the fall of 2003 planning began to redevelop the courtyard. With the help of Keith Lemkey of Lemkey Landscaping Design, a beautiful plan was developed. Work on the courtyard began in the summer of 2004.
The courtyard features raised flower beds that allow the residents to better interact with the plants, shade trees to provide relief from sun, a water fall to provide the relaxing ambience of falling water and numerous perennials and shrubs. Special low voltage lighting highlights the waterfall and several of the trees, creating a dramatic effect after dark. Patio furniture and a swing were purchased in order to provide a comfortable place for residents, family, visitors and staff to sit. A screened in area to provide shelter and a bug free environment was completed in 2005. It has proven to be a popular place to enjoy a view of the courtyard, especially protection from the weather is needed.
The project was extensive and comprehensive. The total cost of the project was approximately $55,000. The project could not have proceeded without the generous grant from the Winnipeg Foundation. We received donations from the contractor, suppliers and other corporate partners. The residents and families, through a variety of fundraising initiatives raised nearly $6,000 towards the project. The Board of Luther Home has fully supported the project and has committed funds from donations towards the project.
The impact of the renovated courtyards was felt almost immediately. Although the summer of 2004 was the worst weather on record delaying the project significantly, the first warm day after the landscaping was done, residents began to use the courtyard. There are those who enjoy the swing and spend much time simply enjoying the ambience. There are those that walk to the pond and simply listen to the water cascading down the rocks. Others set up their wheelchair in the middle of the patio and catch some sun. Staff is often seen having lunch or breaks outside, when the weather permits.
We have augmented the plantings with container gardens for the benefit of those residents who enjoy gardening. We hope to have more family functions in the courtyard, allowing them to have access to the BBQ to prepare meals. The patio is a popular meeting place. Residents and families are often seen sitting near the tables, enjoying the view.
All in all, the courtyard is everything we had hoped for. And each year as the plants mature, we are certain that it will become even more than we hoped for!