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Volunteers transform Tucson's meditation garden & walking trail

Volunteers transform Tucson's meditation garden & walking trail - (08-11-2011)

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Paula Smith (standing) and Elizabeth Davison are two of the many volunteers who recently transformed a meditation garden and walking trail for the Benedictine Sisters in Tucson.

TUCSON, Ariz. –  It was supposed to be a Zen-like garden but ended up too hot and dry to use. So earlier this year friends of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration began transforming the monastery’s private meditation garden and walking trail into a space they could actually use.

“The rocks and the cacti - while striking to look at - created a space that just wasn’t conducive to relaxation for prayer and meditation,” Prioress Sister Ramona Varela, OSB said. “Instead we desired a place that was shady and inviting, attracting birds and other wildlife.”

Landscape designer and friend Diana Turner transformed the sketches of Richard Schickel and Ira Earnst into the concept the Sisters are enjoying today. Also helping were professional landscapers Elizabeth Davison and Paula Smith and several members of the Knights of Columbus.

“Bob Grimes and his wonderful crew tackled the process of removing overgrown cacti and transplanted them to another part of the monastery grounds,” Sister Ramona said.

Recently, more than 40 of the plants and two ironwood trees used in the garden and along the walking trail were donated by Civano’s Nursery, which gifted the Sisters with 20 healthy variety of desert landscaping trees earlier in the year.

“We are blessed by the friendship and guidance these special people provide us,” Sister Ramona said. “Because of their hard work and generosity, we can now enjoy a quiet, meditative and beautiful outdoor space.”

For more information, please contact Sister Ramona at (520) 325-6401 or ramonaosb@gmail.com.