he therapeutic benefits of a serene natural environment are many. A unique collaboration of community organizations and individual donors has come together to create just such an escape in the heart of Spartanburg. The fruits of that collaboration was realized when Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve held the grand opening for the newly-completed Garden of Hope & Healing on April 28, 2011.
An initial seed money grant of $10,000 from Spartanburg Regional Foundation for site preparation, showing community partner support, was an important factor in securing a $37,500 grant from Women Giving for Spartanburg, funding the major construction and installation for the garden with its rustic cedar structures, benches and plantings.
The Garden of Hope & Healing was collaboratively designed by Hatcher Garden and its initial partners, Spartanburg Regional Cancer and Hospice Divisions, Interim HealthCare Hospice and Century Company, with pro-bono work donated by Albert B. Jolly, Jr. AIA and Associates and The LandArt Design Group, Inc.
Site preparation for the space began in October of 2009, with grading and construction getting underway in June of 2010. Now that construction is complete, there are a limited number of naming opportunities being offered in the garden. Anyone interested in honoring the memory of a loved one or someone special in his life can contact Robin Vollmer, executive director of Hatcher Garden at (864)574-7724.
It is the hope of Hatcher Garden’s staff and board that the new addition to the woodland preserve will provide a venue for therapeutic activities for groups within the area such as children’s bereavement programs, one-on-one bereavement counseling, victim assistance groups, Alzheimer’s support groups, mental health groups and many others.
“The healing garden provides a conveniently located escape for hospice and cancer patients, their caregivers and others in the community in need of solace, inspiration and renewal,” says Vollmer of the space that is now part of a woodland retreat that began in 1969 as a private garden, created by Harold and Josephine Hatcher.
The Hatchers’ dream was to create a public greenspace out of land adjacent to their home just off Reidville Road. Over the years they worked to cultivate and expand their garden, welcoming the public into their ample backyard. As the garden grew, others became a part of the Hatchers’ dream, helping them to realize their vision. The couple’s work continued into the 1980s, and in 1987, when he was nearly 80 years old, Harold Hatcher decided to give the garden more permanent protection by donating the property to the Spartanburg County Foundation. Ownership was transferred, a board established, and 501(c)(3) non-profit status acquired, thus assuring the garden’s continuity. The garden was officially given the name Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve with the Hatchers’ blessings.
Visitors today can enjoy 10 acres of greenspace in the center of the city of Spartanburg that hosts a variety of plant life as well as walking paths, water ponds and garden spaces for large gatherings or solitary meditation.
“We feel that the Garden of Hope & Healing is just an extension of Harold Hatcher’s original dream,” Vollmer says of the space that was kept intentionally spare and peaceful.
Because the garden is a gift from the community to the community, the public was welcome at the grand opening of the Garden of Hope & Healing held on the morning of April 28, 2011.
Pictures of the Garden of
Hope & Healing