The Sedona Winds Assisted Living accessible garden is a game-changer for gardening and a healing garden for the elderly and disabled. It was initiated by a group of residents led by Ed Naylor. When Ed, a former Lutheran pastor, moved to the Winds in 2013, he quickly set about finding a way to get involved in his new community and make a difference. Discovering a sizable unused space, he envisioned a garden, but not just a normal one
This garden, in an unused space adjacent to the Activity Room, would be an accessible, ADA compliant “garden plaza” with wide walkways of pavers to accommodate wheel chairs, walkers and scooters. Specially designed raised planters accessible by all residents, and 15 half wine barrels for vegetables and flowers would afford residents to grow vegetables and flowers, and also provide a sheltered outdoor gathering place with benches for residents and their visiting families.
Groundbreaking for the garden took place on November 17, 2013 when a host of volunteers participating in Mitzvah (Good Deed) Day, an annual community service day in Sedona and the Verde Valley, started clearing the footprint of the new garden. The garden was dedicated just four months later on March 15, 2014. Many say that the creation of this garden was “magical” but the “magic” was accomplished by more than 500 hours of volunteer labor, donations of more than $15,000 and through the support and goodwill of local businesses.
On Saturday, March 15, the exciting day of dedication, there they were, more than 100 friends and neighbors from all walks of life, arriving with pansies and roses, geraniums and baby vegetables, etc., etc. in hand. The residents voted to call the garden “The People’s Park” and six months after its dedication, it has abundant vegetables and flowers.