memorial1During a recent visit to the Village of Sage Grove in Kalamazoo, Administrator Paula Hager took me for a stroll through their community garden to see their newly planted Living Memorial Tree. The idea for the tree sprang from a comment Paula overheard during the funeral of a resident who had recently died. Reflecting on the person who had passed, she heard someone remark, “we should plant a tree.” That simple comment put into motion what this spring and summer became a community wide effort to create an accessible space on the Sage Grove campus to honor the residents who spent the last years of their lives at the Village.

memorial2A local supplier provided the concrete for the walkway; a local contractor provided the labor to build the walkway; and a local nursery provided the tree. Others donated anonymously to the project. In the end, the Village of Sage Grove did more than just plant a tree. They mobilized the community; built a lasting memorial to past residents and created a space for current residents and others to renew themselves spiritually. When it comes to wellness, you hear a lot about body and mind but seldom hear about spirit. That’s why I decided to share the news about Sage Grove’s Living Memorial Tree with you. If you would to learn more about the project you can reach Paula at (269) 567-330 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..