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Memorial garden unveiled in Lycoming County

A nursing facility in Lycoming County is remembering all of its residents who passed away last year from COVID-19 and other complications.

MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. — Flowers, shrubs, and benches can be seen throughout the courtyard at Valley View Nursing Center near Montoursville. Look closer, and you'll see plaques with the names of 80 residents. The residents passed away from both COVID-19 and other complications during the lockdown.

"To just have this now here just kind of helps remember her, all the activities and the things that she did and being alive out here again. It feels good," Heather Counsil said.

The memorial garden has been in the works for several months, and on this day,  families were invited to see the finished product.

"Their loved one was here, and they were part of our family. They're still part of our family. It's just very nice for them to be able to come back and feel comfortable to come back," said Michele Brague, an administrator at Valley View.

Families say seeing the garden is therapeutic and helps with the healing process.

"It's a good place to come and reflect on what's happened and be thankful for all of the memories that I do have with my grandmother," Alison Hoff said.

"This is in remembrance of my mom. She died in December of COVID at the age of 102," Terry Kirby said.

Kirby says her mom enjoyed spending time in this courtyard.

"She would have been happy. She's seeing it right now, all of it. We would have her out here every day that we could," Kirby said.

All the plants and trees were donated by loved ones' families and other people in the community.