Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Townspeople

October 3, 2013

Healing garden open for comfort

After seven years of dreaming and planning, the final phase of the Trauma Intervention Program of Merrimack Valley’s healing garden and Brenda Waller Way at Schruender Park in Methuen was completed last weekend with the planting of 110 juniper shrubs around the garden labyrinth.

Dr. Jayan Marie Landry, co-founder and director of the Andover-based TIP, says her program, which has supported more than 20,000 citizens in the region over the past two decades, is pleased to offer the public healing garden for all to enjoy.

After Brenda Waller, a dedicated TIP volunteer, lost her 10-year battle with breast cancer in 2006, Landry worked with Waller’s daughter, Lindsay, to turn their dream for a community healing garden into reality.

Landry would accompany Waller to her chemotherapy treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where they came to appreciate its Ulfelder Healing Garden. She wanted to create a similar place for local residents. Overlooking the Merrimack River at the end of Calumet Road, TIP’s garden in Waller’s memory includes six granite memorial benches and the labyrinth.

TIP is a group of specially trained citizen volunteers who are called by police officers, firefighters and hospital personnel to provide on-scene, emotional and practical support to children and adults who are victims of traumatic events in the first few hours following a tragedy.

The TIP team continues to raise money to support the garden. Its seventh annual TIP Family 5K walk in memory of Brenda and Don Waller is set for Nov. 3 at the Claddagh Restaurant & Pub in Lawrence. The Andover Police Relief Association kicked off the walk’s T-shirt sponsorship with the first $200 donation. More sponsorships are being accepted over the next couple weeks.

For more information or to support the organization or walk, call 978-475-8477 or visit www.traumaintervention.com.

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