(Victor Valley)– – Thanks to a donation of 50 trees from the non-profit organization Incredible Edible Community Garden of Upland, Cal State San Bernardino’s Veterans Success Center will construct a newly designed Veterans Living Memorial Garden on campus just outside the center.
The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 23, from 10 a.m. to noon on the south lawn of the Coyote Bookstore near the Veterans Success Center. The event is open to the public and complimentary parking is available in Lot C.
Fifteen fruitless olive trees and crepe myrtle flowering trees, which will bloom in shades of red, white and blue, will be planted at the Veterans Living Memorial Garden. The other 35 trees will be planted across the campus in areas designated by university officials and will include oak, pine and bottle trees.
The memorial will be comprised of three clusters of five trees representing each of the branches of the military: U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy.
Each group of trees will pay tribute to the past, present and future of the military: veterans who have served their country with honor; those currently serving in the armed forces and those who will serve in the military and become future community leaders.
“When IECG contacted me about donating the trees, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to create a living memorial garden for our CSUSB veterans and enlisted military,” said Marci Daniels, coordinator of the CSUSB Veterans Success Center.
“The memorial garden will be a tribute not just to those who have served our country, but more importantly, to celebrate the future impact that our service members will make as leaders in their communities,” Daniels said.
“The military training that service members or veterans have had as ‘nation builders’ can be used to help them become community builders by assuming leadership roles in our communities,” said Eleanor Torres, IECG board member and public relations coordinator.
Plans to erect a bronze statue in the garden are also underway, with the unveiling of the artist’s rendering of the statue at the ceremony.
IECG was founded in 2009 by Mary Petit, a clinical pharmacist and an avid life-long gardener who earned a doctor of pharmacy from University of Missouri, Kansas City. Petit, who is also president of IECG, will give a brief address at the groundbreaking ceremony, followed by Richard Valdez, commander of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 12 in San Bernardino.
“The Incredible Edible Community Garden wants to acknowledge Bill Moseley, director of Veterans Affairs for the county of San Bernardino, as a great partner in identifying a living tree garden to celebrate our veterans,” said Petit.
“We are proud and honored to provide the trees for this memorial. Trees stand tall. Trees enhance the beauty of the community. Trees nourish the community. What better tribute to our veterans than to plant trees in their honor?” she said.
IECG, whose motto is “Feeding a community one garden at a time,” is involved in developing organic gardens at schools, places of worship, rehabilitation and nursing care facilities, urban farms, urban housing complexes and senior living complexes. The group also manages a volunteer-driven fruit-gleaning program called “Harvest and Deliver.”
Student veterans representing the CSUSB Veterans Success Center, in collaboration with volunteers from IECG, Disabled American Veterans and other community veterans’ groups, will participate in the tree planting.
For more information about the tree-planting ceremony, contact Marci Daniels at (909) 537-5196 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> .
For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.