The future of Robert Busby Memorial Garden

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By Shanin Thomas
Old Town Lansing Times staff writer 

Brad Back, Ena Busby and Jamie Schriner-Hooper (left to right) discuss the memorial garden during the Old Town Organization Committee meeting. (Photo taken by Shanin Thomas)

OLD TOWN LANSING – Spring planting for the Robert Busby Memorial Garden is set for May 10 and includes a hefty schedule.

On Feb. 24 the Old Town Organization Committee discussed the budget and landscape plans of the memorial garden.

Planting Dates

The memorial garden is located on Lansing’s River Trail in remembrance of Robert Busby, Old Town’s “mayor” and creator.

This graph shows the budget and landscape plans for the Robert Busby Memorial Garden for the previous and future planting dates. (Graphic by Shanin Thomas)

Ena Bubsy, daughter of Robert Busby, said fall planting of the memorial garden on Sept. 15 celebrated Busby’s birthday.

Jamie Schriner-Hooper, a committee member, said the fall planting was unbelievable. There were 400 plants and almost 100 volunteers. Despite the cold, rainy weather the planting was done in less than an hour, she said.

Busby said, “Volunteers kept coming after the plants were planted … we had to tell them there was nothing else to do.”

However, the spring planting event has a little more on its plate.


Louise Grawohl, executive director of the OTCA, said the projected remainder is around $12,000 left for the memorial. The previous planting date cost about 18 thousand dollars.

One thousand plants, soil, mulch, signage and benches need to be put in the memorial garden during the upcoming planting date.

Ena Busby said committee members are hoping for the same amount of volunteers.

The Memorial’s Purpose

The memorial garden serves a purpose to not only honor Robert Busby, but to bring a peaceful atmosphere in Old Town.

This graphic describes the design and environmental impact of the Robert Busby memorial garden. It also provides a detailed map of the entire garden. (This graphic can be found at:

Matt Hull, owner of Landscape Architects & Planners, Inc., helped produce this atmosphere.

Hull said the project’s focus was to honor Busby and his advocacy of arts.

Hull wanted the memorial to bring simplicity and the spirit of art.

Ena Busby describes the memorial as a gateway to Old Town.

“Personally, it is a sanctuary,” Ena Busby said. “I can go there to just breathe.”

Questions? Comments? contact Shanin Thomas

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