By Kaitlin Petrillo
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter
Grand Ledge has offered a unique way to memorialize and honor loved ones in their community for years.
Every April, the Grand Ledge garden club works with people in the area to sell geraniums, memorial plaques, and trees in honor of Grand Ledge residents. The purchase includes the tree, the planting, one year of maintenance, and insurance.
“Memorializing a loved one really helps a family celebrate that life,” said Andrea Bregg, the manager and funeral director at McCabe’s Funeral Home. “You realize how fast time goes and I think it can really help the grieving process. When you see a memorial, you focus on what that person did, what they loved, who they loved, and I think that is really special.”
The majority of trees planted are on the main streets of Grand Ledge but more importantly, on the “switchback trail.” A sidewalk that loops into the woods where Willow Highway meets Jefferson Street. The city council and garden club are currently trying to change the name to the “Memorial walk” to better express its purpose.
“It’s been called the switchback trail and that just really doesn’t do it justice,” said Cecil Miller, a GL resident and active member of the garden club.
“It really is a beautiful project,” said Chris Blievernicht, a Grand Ledge police officer. “It not only promotes the environment but also gives people the chance to remember their loved ones in a special way.”
The memorial plant and plaque sales start early spring and each May there is a dedication ceremony.
“We advertise in newspapers and really do try to market this opportunity to the community,” said Miller.
The garden club is currently celebrating its 75th year anniversary and plans to continue memorializing Grand Ledge’s loved ones for many years to come.