Over the past couple years, Nicole Shefrin, the executive director of Fostering Hope, and her team have done a fantastic job of providing gifts and parties for the children at Beech Brook as part of their mission to enrich the lives of kids in out-of-home settings.

Their newest project, Hope Grows Here, is a 40’ x 40’ therapeutic garden on Beech Brook’s main campus in Pepper Pike. The garden contains an outdoor classroom, vegetable garden, sensory garden and thematic beds of the children’s choosing – including a “pizza garden” with tomatoes, peppers and basil.

This amazing endeavor is the result of a community partnership between Beech Brook, Fostering Hope, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, a group of second graders at Hawken School, and volunteers from Liberty Mutual – who did much of the actual building of the garden. The children have participated as well, deciding themes for the garden, helping with the construction and decorating the pathways with pavers they painted with inspirational messages. Those who have chosen to be part of the Garden Club will be learning to care of the garden throughout the summer.

The garden was officially opened June 4 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception. The children on campus helped with the event by reading poems, performing a cheer, making and presenting thank-you gifts, giving tours and serving lemonade.

Thank you to everyone for making this extraordinary project possible, including Fostering Hope, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Hawken School, Liberty Mutual, The Lerner Family Foundation and Give with Liberty.

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