Republished with permission from The Seward Journal, June 10, 2015
By: H.B. Bardason
It’s been a long time coming but finally after more than 10 years of planning, fundraising and elbow grease, the Seward Mariners’ Memorial is complete following its garden installation June. 5.
A week ago a
garden installation would have been a fun way to enjoy the wonderful weather.
But this week volunteers were covered from head to toe in Helly Hansen raingear
and Xtra Tufs in their attempts to stay dry from the torrential rain. At times
it was raining sideways as the faithful volunteers worked with limited shelter
from the elements. Despite the fact that every person and tool was soaked, the
workers were in great spirits as they installed blue Himalayan poppies,
Japanese Barberry, Semi-False Spirea, Pink Parasols Spirea, Speedwell and other
hearty shrubs and grasses to accent the new site.
Master Gardener Brenda Adams of Homer (Gardens By Design) and her crew: Joan Splinter, Mike Zopp, Craig Thomas and Debbie Fanatia brought a breath of fresh air to the Seward volunteers as they all worked together on the Kenai Peninsula’s newest mariners’ memorial.
The Mariners’ garden is a well thought-out natural area accompanying the wave wall with large decorative boulders protecting the hardy plants that have recently been established at the harbor entrance. The site not only provides a beautiful location to reflect for friends and families of lost loved ones, but also offers a terrific view looking down Resurrection Bay and the opportunity to watch wildlife and boats coming to and from the harbor.
(Additional note: The garden planting also received a big helping hand from members of the Resurrection Bay Garden Club, crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, John Shank, Phil Kaluza, and SMM committee members.)
The annual "Blessing of the Fleet" takes place at the future site of the Seward Mariners' Memorial during Harbor Opening in May. The ancient tradition takes place both here and in ports all over the world