By HOWARD BALABAN email@example.com
Medina Journal-Register — With a Facebook group quickly approaching 3,000 members, the Memories of Medina online community has become a place where stories and memories are shared by past and present residents of the community.
When two very active members of that community passed away within days of each other in late July, the group was saddened. Many discussed what to do to memorialize Michelle Stanton Jones and Linda Froman, both of whom were integral to the Memories of Medina group and involved a number of community activities.
Tuesday night at the Ridgeway Town Board meeting, Tim Bensley, representing the social group, asked the trustees for permission to build the Circle of Love Memorial Garden at Glenwood Lake. It was one of the more enthusiastic approvals they have given to a citizen-backed project.
“We’re looking to memorialize citizens in and around the community,” he said, noting how the idea started from the passing of Jones and Froman.
Bensley said that when the idea was initially brought up he offered to design the garden and donate the construction labor as his way of contributing. “Both ladies were always supporters of me and my family,” he said.
The design he presented the board is a series of circles, with a diameter of 34 feet at its widest point. Inside the circles will be an 18-foot center garden in which memorial plaques will be attached to create a 3-foot-tall wall with a circumference of approximately 56 feet. Bensley estimated the garden wall will hold about 154 plaques.
In the garden’s center will sit a 3-D steel circle surrounding a 3-D steel heart. The symbol will sit on a polished concrete slab with the words “remembered with love” engraved on it. Bensley also noted how there will be two three-foot walking paths around the garden divided by four curved benches. There will be a walk-up path with an arbor across the entrance, too.
The garden will feature a variety of perennial flowers, bushes, and shrubs, with citizens in the group handling the planting of some annuals on a seasonal basis, Bensley told the board.
Overall, he estimated construction costs of the garden to come in at about $3,500, and he said he hoped to break ground in the spring. However, thanks to the large numbers of Memories of Medina group members who have formed a sub-group specifically for the memorial garden, Bensley said he has already eclipsed $500 worth of donations.
“If everything takes off, we may look to start building sooner rather than later and they plant the garden and dedicate it in the spring,” he said.
Bensley said he envisions a “tranquil place of beauty in the serenity of Glenwood Lake.” The garden, he stated, will be a place where “we can go to remember those who have helped to make our communities what they are today.”
So far, he said there have been 27 plaques ordered, and the proceeds from the plaques will help pay for the garden’s upkeep for the first few years of its existence before the town takes over the responsibility.
For more information, go to the Medina’s Memorial Garden page on Facebook.