Green Bay Health Services Staff Revamp Gardens
Green Bay Health Services Executive Director Miranda Seghers knew that revamping the center’s gardens was going to take work. But she had no doubt that her staff was up for the challenge!
“I took it one way that we were trying to make the space look nice and it turned into more,” she said. “We had one resident’s family visit and she was so excited to show off the garden. They had lunch out there and we have been able to host more activities outside.”
Many years ago, the center had an active volunteer group and garden clubs that managed the gardens. Residents and staff pitched in as well to keep the space beautiful. As time came and went, volunteers became less active, and then COVID-19 put a halt on outsiders being able to volunteer at all. Last year, Seghers partnered up with Life Enrichment Specialist John Pachan and Director of Education and Development Colleen Tasch, who both have a passion for gardening, to decide how to revamp the large space.
Working in small groups, Green Bay’s leadership team members were assigned different projects to clean up the space. Volunteers from United Health Care came out for one day, pulling weeds and helping rebuild a Veterans memorial that had been buried under dirt and rubble. A hibiscus tree was planted in honor of a staff member who passed away tragically this spring. A plaque has been ordered to place by the tree. Center staff are competing to see which team can grow the biggest pumpkin, thanks to a donation of three jumbo plants from a resident’s family. Soon, the first gazebo will be installed in the garden, with more to come.
Residents are getting in on the action too, picking weeds and planting flowers and vegetables. “We have one resident that has six or seven tomato plants, and we have another resident that has planted some seeds,” Seghers said. “We have North Shore’s Support Center staff and our staff members helping in the garden, some even bringing their family members.”
The front gardens and entryway have been spruced up with new signage and flowers. “It wasn’t a big project by any means, but it has made a difference for us.” Seghers said. “People are taking pride in the front of our building. Our leadership team has more pride in our building. It starts with us, and our leadership team being engaged.”
Green Bay Health Services did not just stop with exterior projects. They took the momentum indoors. Work groups are organizing supplies, and repainting the nurses station, medication room, dining room, and breakroom. The breakroom is getting a creative makeover to make the space more inviting for staff.
The staff has made great progress on the gardens, but the work is not over. A man-made pond and other areas need to be cleaned up and more gazebos need to be installed. Green Bay Health Services hopes to get more families involved in future projects. Volunteers are also welcome to lend a hand too.
“I think we will see large things come from this,” Seghers said.
For more information on volunteering or donating supplies to the garden, contact Miranda Seghers at 920-499-5177 or firstname.lastname@example.org.