atcher Garden & Woodland Preserve dedicated the recently completed Water Wise Demonstration Garden, handicapped-accessible pathway and upgrades to the Jess Taylor Pavilion on September 18, 2014.
A paved pathway, funded by a grant from the Spartanburg Regional Foundation, winds from the Handicapped Parking/Safe Bus Turnaround past the entrance to the environmentally friendly garden space created as a result of a grant from Spartanburg Water. It ends at the entrance to the pavilion where visitors can find expanded restroom facilities and a water fountain.
“A combination of grants and private and corporate donations made these enhancements possible,” said Al Jolly, newly-elected chair of the Hatcher Garden board. Jolly, an architect and chair of Hatcher’s Project Implementation Committee, was intimately involved with the process from the beginning, focusing particularly on the expansion of the restroom facilities and drainage and landscaping of the entire area. “Once again, the community has come together to create a new garden space and accessible facilities for the garden,” Jolly added.
The eight-bed Water Wise Demonstration Garden – designed with input from Hatcher’s Horticulture Committee, the Charles Lea Center and both Spartanburg Regional Hospice and Interim Healthcare Hospice – was financed primarily through a grant from Spartanburg Water. Making the garden wheelchair accessible so everyone could enjoy the low-maintenance, drought-resistant garden was one of the major goals of the project.
The garden staff worked closely with Spartanburg Water’s general manager, Sue Schneider, to design and implement the educational garden. Arborvitae and a Japanese maple, gifts from Roebuck Wholesale Landscaping, anchor the garden filled with perennials chosen specifically for their ability to thrive without irrigation in Spartanburg’s climate. Mostly dwarf varieties were selected to keep garden pruning to a minimum.
Though the initial plan did not include upgrades to the pavilion, a donation from the Jess Taylor family, other individuals and organizations and companies made it possible for the bathrooms to be expanded and made compliant with the American Disabilities Act (ADA). These improvements fit perfectly with the new pathway and garden which were designed to be wheelchair accessible, all contributing to Hatcher’s mission to make the garden accessible to everyone.
“The fact that we were able to add a water fountain, something the garden has needed to accommodate visitors and school groups, was an added bonus,” Robin Vollmer, executive director of Hatcher Garden, says of the generous donations by Linda Toms and the Botanical Belles Garden Club. In addition, Kohler Corporation donated the ADA compliant bathroom fixtures and money was raised through a Fund-a-Flush at last spring’s Twilight in the Garden to make the upgrades possible.
It is only fitting that all those who contributed to the projects be able to come together at the dedication to celebrate their gift to the community.
Interested in growing Water Wise plants? You can view the plants we have in our Water Wise garden, some of them are even available for purchase.
An allée of sweetgum (Liquidambar 'Slender Silhouette') lines the paved path
to the Jess Taylor Pavilion.
Along with the upgraded and expanded restrooms, a water fountain was installed as well as drain which diverts the runoff rain water away from the restrooms' interior.