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Quiet nature-lover’s longtime efforts recognized

Quiet nature-lover’s longtime efforts recognized Quiet nature-lover’s longtime efforts recognized

by Patty Marsters

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Eight years ago, Lorna Lass and two other Mutual 2 residents began to turn an unused area next to Carport 37 into something beautiful. “At the time, my husband was in a nursing home,” Lass recalled. “This was good for my mental health; it was good for me physically and emotionally.”

Though the others are gone, Lass continues to cultivate the succulent garden, stopping by daily with a gallon jug filled with water. People donate cuttings and leave little treasures, such as little rabbit statues that are now hidden among the plants. A rockhound, Lass brings the stones. “There’s no budget,” she explains. “This isn’t an extra expense for the Mutual.

“I can’t always use everything that’s donated,” Lass continues. “People just leave things here, and I try to integrate them.”

Under the shade of the big tree in the middle of the garden are two benches. GRF staff members have been spotted enjoying lunch there. “I’ve seen people sitting on that bench, waiting for the bus,” says Mutual 2 President Peggy Keller.

The money for the benches came from a fundraising party Lass and former resident Marguerite Barr held. “Most of this was started by Marguerite,” Lass humbly says. “It’s a community endeavor.”

But her labors were recognized by her neighbors on June 30, when the directors of Mutual 2 hosted a dedication to what’s now officially Lorna’s Garden.

“Chris Abel had the sign made,” said Debby Cobb, chair of the Mutual’s landscaping committee. “We wanted to recognize all that Lorna’s done to help beautify our Mutual.”

At the dedication, Cobb described Lass as quiet but loved by her community. “We’re so appreciative of her volunteer efforts,” said Debby Cobb, chair of the Mutual’s landscaping committee.

“Everyone knows what you do,” chimed in Dave Mueller. “They don’t attend meetings or anything else, but they know all you do.”

The self-described nature-lover doesn’t just nature her namesake garden; as she visits the other gardens of her Mutual, she’ll stop to pull weeds or water plants. But the succulents behind Carport 37 are her main spot.

“When people come by and say, ‘Thank you,’” Lass says, “that really makes it all worthwhile.”

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