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Lalla's Memorial Garden Fund

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an open letter from the FNCA Board of Directors:


Route 302, the state road that we all use to get to the © Ian Woofenden 2011Fryeburg New Church Assembly that runs the long length of the southeastern border of our property, is going to be widened and raised 3+ feet beginning in Spring 2019. To do that, the State of Maine is going to take a long, narrow strip of Assembly property and, unfortunately, remove the long, narrow stand of trees that has screened our camp from the road for decade© Cassie Young 2009s.

We have already received payment for the appraised value of the land, but it is not enough to mitigate the damage to our physical and psychological screening from the roadway.

The Assembly's Board of Directors has studied the effects this project will have on the Assembly experience and value, and has determined a course of action. We will seek to install wooden fencing at least 7 feet high to partially address noise concerns. We also seek to plant a new border on the Assembly side of the fence primarily to address sight lines.

The new planter bed border is envisioned to be 12 feet wide and would provide foreground interest and beauty, while establishing deciduous and evergreen trees that will gradually grow to provide screening.

© Nancy F. Little 2009In memory of Cecilia "Lalla" Searle and her lifelong commitment to the Assembly, including her sharing and implementing her horticultural expertise still highly visible and prized today throughout the camp, we plan to call this new planted border: Lalla's Memorial Garden.

© Shannon Costello 1997Lalla's Memorial Garden will honor the plant selection criteria established in 1990 by Lalla and her sister Tina whereunder "the shrubs and perennials have to be very hardy and bloom in August"* For many years thereafter, the two sisters donated and planted several plants each annual Work Weekend and camp session.

We estimate the cost of Lalla's Memorial Garden to be $25,000. This includes the cost of the plants, the loam and compost plant bed soil, mulch, and temporary irrigation for the first three years. Labor would be provided by the Assembly.

A $2,000 anonymous donation was given to start the Lalla's Memorial Garden Fund. We've raised over $10,000. That's over 40% of the the way to our goal. We ask you for your financial support at any level in support of this deeply meaningful and worthy project, which will be an important part of the future of the FNCA.

Thank you very much.

The Board of Directors
Fryeburg New Church Assembly

© Jesse White 2014

* Webmaster Note: I recall the full quote as being: "The shrubs and perennials have to be very hardy and bloom in August, and suffer benign neglect the rest of the year."
84 Main St, Fryeburg, ME 04037 (map)