The Emmaus Commemorative Gardens Foundation (ECGF) is a volunteer, non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to creating one or more special commemorative garden sites in Emmaus, PA. The ECGF Board of Directors meets several times each year to direct the development of the current garden site at the Knauss Homestead.
History of the Garden
The ECGF began as a Task Force Team from the Emmaus Visioning Project in spring, 2002. The project team heard from one of its team members about a memorial garden in Hawthorne, NV, that has had over 900 rose bushes planted in remembrance of persons in their community who have passed away. The Hawthorne concept was the inspiration for the ECGF in Emmaus, PA.
The ECGF worked for over two years creating a business plan, soliciting contributions, partnering with local businesses, working with our borough government, planning for site development, developing a website, sponsoring special events, and marketing the concept to the community. Presentations were made to a wide range of local organizations in an effort to educate the public about the project and encourage them to purchase commemorative opportunities, including bricks, roses, benches, trees, perennials, and a pergola.
The Remembrance Garden at the Knauss Homestead was dedicated in July, 2004 with a pergola at the center of the site and the first set of about 50 Red Knockout roses. The first walkway was in place as were the basic perimeter shrub plantings. Since then eight benches, a second walkway with Sunny Knockout roses, a perennial garden, a flag pole and an informational sign have been added. The walkways have evolved into areas for bricks to recognize veterans, community heroes, The Heritage Alliance, service clubs, Eagle Scouts, Emmaus High School students, businesses, and families.