Chippewa Garden Club creates garden sanctuary for seniors

The Chippewa Garden Club’s garden therapy team, led by Lynne Evans, continues to provide better living through garden-related bird-watching for residents of the Oaks of Brecksville, a health and senior rehabilitation center on Brecksville Road. 

In 2020, the Oaks began a renovation of its outdoor area to facilitate a serene, natural environment for residents. As group projects have been on hold for seniors due to COVID-19, garden therapy team members decided to adapt in 2021, offering horticulturally based craft projects, design recommendations and supplies for the renovated area.  

The team’s focus is to reduce stress and anxiety for the residents by creating a green, floral, natural environment.  

A plan was formulated with the help of Oaks Activity Director and CGC member Marie Day. She collaborated with the club to create a sequence of projects that will culminate in the desired natural sanctuary.  

Step one was to purchase large resin pots while fall sales were ongoing. These will be ready for planting in the spring.  

The next course of action involved bringing wildlife, particularly birds, into the area for residents to view through their room windows throughout winter. Research followed on feeder styles and food types to draw songbirds and colorful birds to the area. A hopper feeder, thistle feeder and vertical feeder, along with thistle, no-mess seed mix, insect suet and fruit and berry suet were added in December.  

Garden therapy team member Bobbi Anderson contacted a wildlife group to procure bird-watching books for residents to identify common birds in the area.  

Plans for spring include filling pots with thrillers, fillers and spillers. Boxwood, geraniums and licorice plants are being considered as potential design plants. A centrally located birdbath is also planned for the area. 

The team is accepting donations to assist in its efforts to accessorize the garden area. Contact Evans at 440-668-6128 for more information. For more information on Chippewa Garden Club, visit

Feature image photo caption: The Chippewa Garden Club is transforming an outdoor space at the Oaks of Brecksville into a natural oasis for senior residents to enjoy. From l-r, CGC membership chair Bobbie Anderson, club member and Oaks of Brecksville Activity Director Marie Day, garden therapy and finance chair Lynne Evans, publicity chair Noreen Butano and secretary Sandy Ladebue gather around some of the birdhouses they’ve installed. Photo by J. Mitchell

Bird houses installed by Chippewa Garden Club members hang at the Oaks of Brecksville’s outdoor nature sanctuary. Photo courtesy Chippewa Garden Club