New Britain

New Britain Rose Garden Is Seeking Volunteers

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Volunteers in New Britain want you to start thinking about your weekend plans this spring.

In a matter of months, the Walnut Hill Rose Garden is going to be filled with bright buds and the Friends of the Rose Garden organization wants to make sure the park is beautiful for everyone to enjoy.

“I’m very impressed with this park,” said Karen Pape.

Pape lives in Woodbury, but had been visiting the Walnut Hill Rose Garden with her granddaughter while her daughter completes physical therapy nearby.

“Last time when we were here last week I showed her the rose bushes and how beautiful it’s going to look,” Pape said.

In preparation for the hundreds of blooming rose bushes, this Saturday, April 17, the Friends of The Rose Garden organization is asking for volunteers to join them for some spring cleaning around the park.

“I think that it’s so important for people to take ownership in their community,” said Kendall Soliwoda, a local artist and New Britain native.  “And try to, especially now with the extra time and social distancing, to make our communities that much better and that much cleaner and brighter.”

The history of the rose garden goes back to 1929 when James Burke, the city’s gardener, planted a rose garden that was later demolished. It wasn’t until 2010 the Friends of Walnut Hill Park Rose Garden planted the garden you can visit today.

“I definitely want to come back and just see them all and smell them all,” Pape said.  “I’m sure it will be beautiful so hopefully there will be no litter.”

And while the highly anticipated Rose Garden Festival was canceled last year because of the pandemic, the city is hopeful it will return this year on Father’s Day weekend.

“It really brings together everyone in a time where there’s a lot of separation and distance,” Soliwoda said.

The volunteer work will begin at 9 a.m. and last until noon and refreshments will be provided. Volunteers are asked to bring gardening tools and gloves if they have them and to maintain social distancing during the clean-up.

In the event of rain, the spring cleaning will be postponed until Saturday, April 24.

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