Council’s gift to former mayor Sharon Gaetz is two benches and a little garden in Sardis Park. (Submitted)

Park bench and garden space selected to thank former mayor

The beautiful plantings and pair of benches by the water are very much appreciated

City council was looking for an appropriate gift to bestow on former mayor Sharon Gaetz, to thank her for her 10 years of service as the mayor, and to recognize her tenure as the first ever woman to be elected mayor of Chilliwack.

Staff suggested a bench and a small garden, which council approved.

“Former Mayor Sharon Gaetz is extremely fond of Sardis Park and walks through this park often,” according to the city staff report.

The park was seen as the ideal location for council’s gift of two benches and a little garden, and it turns out they were much appreciated.

“I simply don’t have the words,” former mayor Sharon Gaetz wrote to city council and staff in response to the gifts. “The work you put into designing a special place for me at my favourite park touched me deeply.”

Gaetz had the occasion to sit on her bench recently, and reflect on her time at city hall.

“I must say that all of you have impacted my life and I will treasure the time I got to spend with seven councils.”

There were two side-by-side benches already installed by the water’s edge to the west of the pond, so staff made sure the metal benches were restored to gleaming, like-new condition, in time for the dedication and memorial plaques to be affixed.

“One bench is dedicated by Council to Sharon to recognize her 10-year term as first female Mayor of Chilliwack from 2008 to 2018. The memorial bench is established in the memory of Sharon’s daughter, Jenna, who passed away in 2002.”

A level area, stepping down to a small gravel beach was constructed around the benches, as well as two side garden spaces each planted with an ‘Eternal Flame’ dogwood tree and a variety of plants including; dwarf rhododendrons with light pink flowers in spring, barberries, blue star juniper and ‘Karl Foerster’ grass for height and winter interest.

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