The Warwick Historical Society (WHS) has received a grant from Stewarts Shops Holiday Match Program for the enhancement of a nature play area at Baird’s Tavern. The WHS is partnering with HERoes in Deed to install a nature play area at Baird’s Tavern, located at 105 Main St. in Warwick.
HERoes in Deed was inspired by the memory of Army Lieutenant Colonel Jaimie E. Leonard, a Warwick High School student and West Point graduate who was killed in Afghanistan on June 8, 2013. Jaimie’s drive to make the world a better place is the force behind their mission. Jaimie’s sister, Liz Harman, President of the Board of HERoes in Deed, identified this project as one her sister would have supported and that it would honor her memory in an appropriate manner.
Extensive research has been done on the benefits of nature play with children as well as the benefits of nature with veterans. Veterans dealing with PTSD have found that connecting with nature is an effective and highly positive practice that allows for moments of peace that are sometime hard to find. The calming effects of nature can provide mental health improvements as well as physical improvements that can benefit veterans by easing systems of PTSD along with depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
The design for the Nature Area was created as an in-kind service by a Landscape Designer from the NYC Parks System. Local landscaper, Rich Valentino, has committed his services at no cost. A project coordinator has been identified from the local veteran community to oversee the project and the VFW has offered to recruit volunteers from its membership to assist with the creation and maintenance of the area.
“The grant from Stewarts Shop will help the us move forward in the creation of the Nature Area, which we hope to have open this Spring,” said WHS executive director Lisa-Ann Weisbrod. She went on to express her appreciation of Stewart’s Shop commitment to assisting local charities benefiting children.
For more information or to become a member of the Warwick Historical Society, please call 986-3236, ext 106 or visit www.whsny.org.