- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

HUMBOLDT, Neb. (AP) - A lifelong gardener in southeast Nebraska has created a memorial garden dedicated to cancer victims.

Jan Wilhelm and dozens of volunteers helped transform an unused, sunken corner of Humboldt Lake Park into the Southeast Nebraska Memorial Cancer Garden, the Lincoln Journal Star reported .

Wilhelm sketched a blueprint for the garden in January. The plan she presented to Humboldt City Council included flower beds, a Nebraska-shaped stone and a red-cedar pergola in the center of the garden.

“I had this vision and spring was on its way,” said Wilhelm, whose brother-in-law and stepson died from cancer nearly two years ago. “People were telling me if you want it to happen you better start now.”

Lois Luthy is president of the newly formed Humboldt Garden Club, which helped Wilhelm create the garden. Luthy said the garden is meant to be a place of peace and contentment for the community facing cancer.

“We did this out of love and respect for these friends of ours,” said Luthy, whose friends’ grandchildren died from leukemia. “It shows that people care and I think anyone can take some peace from that, knowing they have our support.”

The grassy lot’s transformation began in February. Volunteers spend nearly six to seven hours a day maintaining the garden.

Wilhelm said that more additions are planned as funding comes through, including stones people can dedicate to be used to pave the garden’s walkways and pergola.

Funds for the free garden are raised by local businesses, the Richardson County Visitor’s Association, individual donors and grants.

“it’s rewarding for us to look back on it now,” Luthy said. “In less than six months of planning to see where we’ve come, it really is amazing.”

A fundraiser will be held Sept. 9 in Humboldt to help fund additions to the garden.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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