St Feriole Island Memorial Gardens

By Caitlin Bittner

If you’ve spent time on St. Feriole Island recently, you’ve probably seen the Memorial Gardens. Tom Nelson, who is seemingly and without a doubt the voice of the garden, noted that these gardens would be nothing without the community. “It all depends on the people who come here,” said Nelson. “The gardens are really developing and new stuff is happening all the time. People come up to me all the time with projects they like to do.”

With the motto of the gardens being “May the sun shine on our garden of dreams,” Nelson does his best to incorporate everyone’s ideas and help make their dreams a reality.

Although the individual community members are almost too numerous to count, Nelson added that he is very grateful to the George Family Foundation for all that it’s done to bring the community’s dreams to life. “I’d really like to give them and the community a hand. This wouldn’t be possible without them,” said Nelson.

For his part, Nelson said he appreciates the opportunity to make the gardens what they are today. “People are really starting to realize that it’s a major attraction,” he remarked, noting that he hopes more and more people will come to enjoy the gardens soon.

“Even if you’ve been here once, you really need to come back again. The garden is always changing, always growing,” said Nelson.

He added that, although he wants to grow the gardens to include a water feature, he hopes the river won’t flood them again.

New to the gardens is the Trail of Eagles, a project made possible by Rivertown Ironworks, B&R Concrete Construction, and Blair Dillman.

For the future, Nelson said he is optimistic they will continue to receive more attention and flourish even more. “I just leave the door open for more possibilities.”

If you haven’t been down to the gardens recently, Nelson advises you to come on down and take a stroll or just sit and enjoy the nature around you.