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During a recent visit to the Village of Sage Grove in Kalamazoo, Administrator Paula Hager took me for a stroll through their community garden to see their newly planted Living Memorial Tree.  The idea for the tree sprang from a comment Paula overheard during the funeral of a resident who had recently died. Reflecting on the person who had passed, she heard someone remark, “we should plant a tree.” That simple comment put into motion what this spring and summer became a community wide effort to create an accessible space on the Sage Grove campus to honor the residents who spent the last years of their lives at the Village.


A local supplier provided the concrete for the walkway; a local contractor provided the labor to build the walkway; and a local nursery provided the tree. Others donated anonymously to the project. In the end, the Village of Sage Grove did more than just plant a tree. They mobilized the community; built a lasting memorial to past residents and created a space for current residents and others to renew themselves spiritually.  When it comes to wellness, you hear a lot about body and mind but seldom hear about spirit.  That’s why I decided to share the news about Sage Grove’s Living Memorial Tree with you.  If you would to learn more about the project you can reach Paula at (269) 567-330 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..