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Seniors at Valle Verde Retirement Community raised $70,000 to create a new flower garden featuring mosaic work by artist Kim Emerson.
At the unveiling ceremony, an intimate gathering of volunteers, donors and residents were the first to see the "garden in the round" showcasing a large mosaic table, chairs, and benches surrounded by a circular flower garden that provides fresh blooms for the on-campus health center, dining room and individual resident homes.
"Six years ago, we created a flower cutting garden to further beautify life at Valle Verde.
Now, with the hard work of volunteers and donors, we have been able to take the garden a step further. It is a beautiful place to sit and view flowers in bloom - both in the ground and in these gorgeous mosaics," said Dorothy Burkhart, volunteer coordinator and resident.
"It is certainly impressive that our Valle Verde seniors were so generous and hard working to make this a reality. Everyone can appreciate the combination of artwork and fresh flowers. The circular design makes a great space to sit in the middle of the flowers or walk around the curved outside path," said Helen Chuan, volunteer coordinator and resident.
"Our residents have really created something unique with this garden and the beautiful mosaics…to have it at Valle Verde is really a treasure. I am continually impressed by the generosity and vision our seniors have for our campus," added Tim Wetzel, executive director of Valle Verde Retirement Community.
The mosaic garden is the second art installation of Emerson's artwork at Valle Verde that also includes a recognition wall of donors to the ABHOW Foundation, an endowment that provides funding for residents who have outlived their financial resources.
Emerson's mosaics can also be found in numerous public venues, including the Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego and the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts.
Valle Verde is a continuing care retirement community that has been operating in Santa Barbara since 1966. It is owned and managed by ABHOW, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation.