Brookfield Trustee Dan Suttles admitted he has not spent much time in Brookfield Township Community Park but, when he was notified of a trustees meeting to discuss the park’s memorial garden, he didn’t even know there was such a garden.
Presently, it’s not much to look at, but the trustees said May 24 that want to change that.
The garden, also known as the Walk of Life Garden, is beyond right field of field four, the one in the back of the park. It was built in 1998 using money donated by the dissolving Masury Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8860 as a place to honor loved ones who have passed away, said Trustee Gary Lees, who was in office at the time.
It has a walking path with memorial stones, donated dogwood, redbud and ornamental pear trees and metal benches.
It used to have flowers, but only three day lilies remain, and the path has largely gone to weeds.
“We spent a lot of money on the flowers, but it got to be part of our budget, where we had only so much money to give to the park,” Lees said.
Trustee Ron Haun said he is disappointed at the lack of care.
“It was upsetting to me that former trustees put forth the effort to give us this and we haven’t kept it up,” he said.
The trustees agreed to do something about the garden in the next month or so, which could include cleaning up the weeds, spraying weed killer, roto-tilling the ground, planting flowers and applying mulch. Lees said he wants former Trustee Janalyn Saloom involved in discussions because the garden was her idea.
Haun said he wants the garden to be attractive, but low maintenance. The maintenance should not take a lot of time, said Road Superintendent Jaime Fredenburg, but it needs to be done early in the year, especially if the trustees assign the park worker to do it.
The township needs to reinvigorate promoting the memorial stone program as part of an overall promotion of the park, Suttles said.
UPDATE: Since this story was published, work has begun to clean up the garden.
In photo: Brookfield Road Superintendent Jaime Fredenburg, with shovel, talks about the unkempt path at the Walk of Life Garden in Brookfield Township Community Park. Also shown are, from left, Trustee Gary Lees, Fiscal Officer Dena McMullin and trustees Ron Haun and Dan Suttles.