The Culpepper Garden senior-living community near Ballston on March 25 dedicated a bench in honor of local first-responders who have helped the community to weather the COVID storm.
The ceremony took place during an open house in which the residents and local leaders were invited to enjoy the approximately 33,000 flowers in bloom on the 5-acre property.
“The last two years have reminded us that first-responders are literal lifesavers in times of need, not just for our community here but for all of Arlington,” said Marta Hill Gray, executive director of the facility. “What better way to celebrate their contributions than a permanent fixture among a sea of stunning yellow daffodils, which are the long-standing legacy of Culpepper.”
Among those on hand to mark the debut of the First-Responders Bench were Sheriff Beth Arthur, Police Chief Charles “Andy” Penn, Assistant Fire Chief Joe Reshetar and Hannah Winant of the Department of Public-Safety Communications and Emergency Management. A number of County Board members attended, as did state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington-Fairfax-Loudoun), who serves on the Culpepper Garden board of directors.
“I’m inspired by their selflessness and glad to be a part of honoring them today for their invaluable contributions to our community,” Favola said of the efforts of local first-responders.
The daffodil garden is the legacy of Charles Washington Culpepper, a horticulturist and civil servant who tended meticulously to the garden before selling the property in 1971 to the non-profit that would establish Culpepper Garden a few years later. When COVID arrived in the spring of 2020, a team of volunteers, gardeners and staff began work to renovate the gardens, planting 28,000 daffodil saplings. In 2021, they followed up with an additional 5,000 plants.
Culpepper Garden is an award-winning retirement community that provides 346 affordable apartment units with services for low-income seniors over age 62. The celebration marked the official opening for the season of the daffodil garden, which is open to visitors (with prior registration) through the summer.
For information, see the Website at www.culpeppergarden.org.