BUCKNER WESTMINSTER PLACE STAFF INITIATES PROJECT TO RESTORE COURTYARD AT THE ARC
LONGVIEW, Texas, January 29, 2014 Altruistic staff members and residents at Buckner Westminster Place thought it would be fun and meaningful to come together as a team to serve another nonprofit in Gregg County. After reaching out to the Aging and Disability Resource Center, it was suggested that the community assist Gregg County’s local chapter of The Arc with restoring and replenishing their overgrown courtyard to be enjoyed by the participants that use The Arc’s programs. The Arc is an organization whose mission is to create opportunities for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to actively participate in their communities and make the choices that affect their lives in a positive manner. Buckner Westminster Place staff and residents partnered with Bloom’s Landscaping to provide a free restoration to the courtyard at The Gregg County location of The Arc.
“I enjoyed assisting The Arc with this project,” said LaTonja Hernandez, assistant environmental director at Buckner Westminster Place. “I have a nephew and a cousin, who both have Down’s syndrome, so this project resonated close to my heart. They are remarkable, bright people who have a special appreciation for life and a unique perspective on the world. They do not comprehend things as well as we do, which is why they find nature to be a serene environment and a place of peace. I believe that participants at The Arc will really enjoy having the courtyard restored to a place of beauty where they can relax and have peace of mind.”
Buckner Westminster Place staff and residents completed the projecton Friday, January 17. Bloom’s landscaping also donated time and labor to assist the senior living community with the project. They gave the courtyard a full makeover including raking, weeding, balancing the soil, pulling plants, trimming overgrown greenery and any other tasks that will help prepare the courtyard for planting in the spring.
“It does not surprise me that Buckner Westminster Place reached out to us and wanted to do something amazing for our chapter and the participants that use our day habilitation services,” said Amy Canton, director of development for The Arc. “Buckner is a wonderful organization and we appreciate how they work to impact people and the world in a positive way. The courtyard was created a few years ago, but had deteriorated due to the acid released by the oak trees surrounding it. The soil became unbalanced as a result and lots of the plants died as giant weeds took over. Prior to the restoration, we had three foot weeds with thorns and large flowers, reminding me of a jungle scene from Jumanji. Having the courtyard restored and replenished provides the participants with a place of beauty and serenity where they can be calm and interact with nature. Come spring, I am planning on putting The Arc’s bunnies in an enclosure on days when the weather is nice, so that participants can go outside to watch them play. We are all so excited!”
The Arc offers life enriching activities that closely resemble normal adult activities such as opportunities for work, extended schooling in math, writing, crafts and physical activity to people with intellectual or development disabilities, who they refer to as participants. The Arc gives participants ways to remain social and active in their adult lives.
“We enjoyed devoting time to help replenish and restore the courtyard at The Arc,” said Wes Wells, executive director of Buckner Westminster Place. “The Arc provides meaningful services to the community as a whole, so we eager to do something nice for them. Instead of having a staff party for the holidays, we thought it would be meaningful to spend that time helping others in the community that are also making a difference in the lives of people.”
ABOUT BUCKNER WESTMINSTER PLACE
Buckner Westminster Place, a Buckner Retirement Services community, is a non-profit, faith-based senior living community offering 89 independent living apartments and patio homes for active adults aged 62 and above. In addition, the community offers a continuum of care including 30 assisted living apartments, 25 memory care support residences and 20 private bedrooms in the Green House® homes for skilled nursing care. Buckner Westminster Place is the only complete CCRC (continuing care retirement community) in Longview which accommodates these four levels of living and care as residents’ needs change.
Located near the Longview Mall and just minutes from area medical centers, Buckner Westminster Place gives residents a beautiful way to live. The community includes a 16-acre lakeside setting with walking trails and spacious well-manicured grounds.
Residents enjoy delicious dining and warm fellowship in beautifully arranged dining rooms. The community also has an on-site life enrichment coordinator, chapel, full-time chaplain, on-site worship services, beauty/barber salon and weekly housekeeping/linen service.
A partnership with the Good Shepherd Institute for Healthy Living gives residents and staff access to a wellness center that includes classrooms, a resistance pool, a track and exercise equipment. The community provides transportation to the wellness center.
For more information about Buckner Westminster Place, please visit the community website at www.bucknerwestminster.org or call Blake Lambert at (903) 252-6736.
ABOUT BUCKNER RETIREMENT SERVICES
Buckner Retirement Services, Inc. is one of the largest not-for-profit senior living organizations in Texas dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for senior adults and their families by promoting an active, healthy Christian lifestyle while maintaining their independence and dignity. Buckner Retirement Services is part of Buckner International, a global faith-based ministry serving more than 470,000 people each year in the United States and 18 countries worldwide.
Photos Courtesy of Buckner Westminster Place
Photo 1: Buckner Westminster Place and Bloom’s Landscaping decided to restore the overgrown courtyard at The Arc.
Photo 2: Buckner Westminster Place and Bloom’s Landscaping cleared away leaves, raked dirt, trimmed plants, balanced soil and pulled weeds to restore the courtyard.
Photo 3: Buckner Westminster Place and Bloom’s Landscaping prepare the soil for spring planting.
Photo 4: Buckner Westminster Place and Bloom’s Landscaping replenish and balance the soil in preparation of spring.
Photo 5: Buckner Westminster Place and Bloom’s Landscaping clear debris from the courtyard.