Discovery Garden

DiscoveryGarden2.jpgDiscovery Garden is one of the only wheelchair-accessible, public gardens in Blair County. It was developed as a community resource and provides a beautiful place for people of all ages and abilities to relax and enjoy nature. Located in American Legion Memorial Park, Hollidaysburg, PA adjoining a children's play park along the Juniata River, it offers something for everyone. The garden is comprised of five theme gardens: a children's garden, a time garden (with a 25-foot sundial as its centerpiece), a butterfly garden, a sensory garden, and a cottage garden. Discovery Garden is also the cornerstone of horticultural rehabilitation programs which bring together people with and without disabilities. Raised beds are available to individuals with disabilities and schools in the region to plant.

Click Here for a Map to the Discovery Garden at American Legion Memorial Park

 

 History

 

DiscoveryGarden5.jpgThe garden was built in memory of a young woman, Courtney Claton (1973-1997), who lived in Hollidaysburg and worked in Altoona at the industrial center managed by Skills of Central Pennsylvania, Inc. (Skills). Courtney enjoyed biking, participating in Special Olympics, and volunteering to help people in her community. A fund within The Skills Foundation which was comprised of donations from hundreds of friends and family members in honor of Courtney's memory became the seed money for Discovery Garden.

The garden is a project of The Skills Foundation which supports Skills of Central Pennsylvania, Inc., a private, non-profit human service organization committed to creating opportunities and providing support for individuals who need specialized services to acquire the necessary skills and experiences to participate in all aspects of personal and community life with dignity and respect.

 

 Contributors

 

The gardens development was supported by hundreds of individuals and businesses in Pennsylvania who donated funds and volunteered hundreds of hours of skill and expertise to develop various elements of the garden.

Among our contributors are:

Sustaining Partner:
Bon Secours Health System

Benefactors:
Peoples Natural Gas Company
Ronald McDonald House Charities
The Devorris Family
The Skills Foundation

Patrons:
The Claton Family
FL Smithe Machine Co.
Hollidaysburg Area Womens Club
Anthony Misciagna
The Ports

Family Foundation Trustees:
Mickey Port
Neil Port
Lisa Port White
Malcolm White
Sue Port Simon
Douglas Simon
Lawrence Port

Sponsors:
Office of Blair County Commissioners
Diane Brandt and Marty Lewis
Cardiology Association of Altoona
The Lytle Group
The Rotary Club of Altoona
Reliance Bank
Reliance Savings Bank
Sheetz, Inc.
Law Officers of Edgar Snyder and Associates
The Ben Staplefeld Family
The Wolf-Kuhn Foundation.

 

 Garden Management

 

DiscoveryGarden1.jpgThe Discovery Garden has broad-based support throughout Blair County. The volunteer steering committee that oversees the project is made up of individuals from the community including representatives from various organizations. The committee is lead by project coordinator, Karen Claton.

Along with a large group of volunteers, the Borough of Hollidaysburg is committed to routine and ongoing maintenance of the site. The garden is part of the park system of the Borough of Hollidaysburg. The Skills Foundation is responsible for raising and managing an endowment fund for the garden and adjunct horticultural therapy program.

Green (and not so green) Thumbs Wanted: A core group of volunteers who enjoy gardening and meeting new people help maintain the garden and plant flowers and herbs. The volunteer group may also become involved in the horticultural therapy program, helping people with disabilities enjoy gardening activities. We are always looking for new volunteers. Anyone with a green thumb or interest in gardening is welcome. Please call the Borough of Hollidaysburg Offices at 695-7543 to volunteer today!