The Welcome Home Garden Project
On Tuesday, June 22nd, the Harrisonburg City Council formally and unanimously approved of a permanent site for the Welcome Home Garden. It will be located on the lot immediately behind the Municipal Building on Main Street. The site faces the new Farmers Market Pavillion. Plans are to begin construction this summer, with an opening Dedication Ceremony this November on Veteran's Day.
See the official design here .
It’s About Time
Two area businessmen and friends, Chad Layman of Fine Earth LLC, and John Sites of Earth Tones, have retained the services of ExcelArts Consulting to assist in the planning processes for a unique gift to the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Community; The Welcome Home Garden. The process of selecting a suitable site is currently underway. Our goal is to select a site no later than June 30th, 2010.
The Welcome Home Garden will symbolize an important change in public awareness that has taken place in America since the days of Vietnam. Today, people of every political persuasion appreciate the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. Even more importantly, we understand the special challenges veterans face coming home from an often traumatic experience to loved ones they haven’t seen in a long while, and to the task of re-building the friendships, careers and lives they left behind.
This project will be funded entirely by private sources. Public funds will not be solicited for any part. The Welcome Home Garden will serve as a place of permanent tribute and welcome to all sons and daughters of the community returning from overseas service to their country, especially military veterans returning from foreign conflicts such as the current wars in Iraq and Afganistan.
The Welcome Home Garden will include a combination of hardscaping, waterscaping, landscaping, and original art. The actual size and scope of the project will depend in part on the site selected. Design ideas and possibilities will begin appearing on this page once a site is selected.
Plans are also underway for an official dedication of the site on November 11th, 2010, (Veteran’s Day). The date for actual construction is pending, subject to the findings of a comprehensive study, currently underway.
Send Us Your
Thoughts and Ideas!
Read some of the Letters we're
We will be inviting public input for every phase of the project, from site selection to design. Up to date information about the project will be available at all times at FineEarthLLC.com.
We’ll also be posting letters and ideas received from the public on this page in the months ahead. Keep checking in and
The artistic challenge our designers will face will be to create a garden that communicates the three themes of Welcome, Appreciation, and Understanding. For this reason, it is anticipated that a key piece will be an original sculpture, commissioned specifically for this project. During the next thirty days we will be in conversation with the Arts Council of the Valley, and others, seeking input on this facet of the project.
In preparation for this announcement, we have consulted individually with a long list of community leaders, and with the staff of the Harrisonburg City Parks and Recreation Department. We thank everyone with whom we have spoken so far for their expressions of support and encouragement, and for their ideas. Based on these early discussions, there appears to be a good chance that a suitable site for this gift can be found on existing Harrisonburg city property.
Here is a short list of the sites that have been suggested to us for consideration so far:
- An area adjoining the Harrisonburg Farmers Market Pavilion
- Liberty Park
- The New Harrisonburg Soccer Complex
- Heritage Oaks Golf Course
Additional suggestions are expected. We will keep a current list on this page of sites receiving serious consideration.
For this reason, we are soliciting the Harrisonburg City Council’s input, and the input of the Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation Commission, on the best course to follow in preparing a feasibility study of various city-owned sites.