Ogden Gardens celebrated the addition of new lighting on Monday evening with friends and community members alike. Since 1958, Ogden Gardens has stunned its visitors. With its beautiful flowers, trees, gazebo, and Japanese Garden, viewers are continually rendered speechless by the gifts that this garden has to offer. The lighting was not only a celebration of Ogden Gardens history, but also a symbol for peace and safety within the community.
To Paul Chen, Lead Horticulturalist for the Valpo Parks Department, the lighting represented a safer environment for the community.
“For all this time, there has not been any lighting in the park,” Chen explained, “so this is a monumental moment! The theory is that with the park lit up, there will be more of a sense of security.”
With the park lit up, visitors get a chance to see why this park is so unique as Steve Martinson, Horticulturalist Superintendent for the Valpo Parks Department, described.
“We grow our flowers from scratch,” Martinson explained, “We have our own greenhouses, and e are in the process of building new greenhouses.”
The lighting of Ogden Gardens took roughly three weeks in total to set up. Construction started with two-foot trenches that were dug out. After the project was completed, Ogden Gardens graced the scene as it astonished visitors.
Otto Ogden was the original caretaker of Ogden Gardens. Over the years since his tenure as caretaker, Ogden Gardens has changed, as John Seibert, Director of Parks and Recreation, explained.
“This is a celebration of a new improvement to Ogden Gardens,” Seibert described, “It has been almost 60 years that the park has been serving the community. We think that it will add to the beauty and presentation to this facility as well as security.”
The lighting of Ogden Gardens would not be possible without a team effort from many community organizations.
“This is a collaboration between the Rotary Club, Valpo Park Foundation, and a private donor,” Seibert said, “We are really thankful for that.”
Ogden Gardens not only changed over the years but grew together with each new generation, as Seibert further explained.
“You want to honor the tradition, as well as continue to improve it and reflect the people’s needs and interests of a new generation,” Seibert described, “It is an interesting balance to have.”
Valpo Mayor Jon Costas also thanked the horticulturalists that made the City of Valparaiso such a beautiful place to live in.
“I believe that the horticultural work that we have done is extraordinary,” Mayor Costas added, “It has made a tremendous difference in the city”
With the effort from a hardworking horticulturalist team, the Rotary Club of Valparaiso, Valpo Parks Foundation, and a private donor, the Ogden Gardens Lighting was a dazzling success!
As Mayor Costas described in a story he shared from a friend, “Where there were ditches, there are flowers.”
There really was not any other way to describe the hard work and effort it took to create such a park as beautiful as Ogden Gardens.
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