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Ashland - Local Town Pages

Healing Garden Cleanup

By Susan Manning
Staff writer
The healing garden, a place meant for peace and meditation, was far from that up until recently. 
Kevin Kane lost his life at 26 years old due to a rare form of cancer directly linked to his childhood days playing near the Nyanza superfund site. 
In 2016, a memorial was built to honor those affected by the rare cluster of childhood cancers. It took shape as a healing garden, with stained-glass panels. It sits just beyond the left field fence at the Ashland Middle School baseball field. 
The problem is that a year after its installation, vandals attacked. Now Marie Kane and others want to see the garden restored to its original beauty. 
Thanks to Lions Club member Julian Doktor, The Lions Club took on the clean up as a project.    “Julian contacted me and said he wanted to help rebuild the garden. He used to be a teacher. He’s retired now, but a great guy,” said Marie Kane, Kevin‘s mother. 
Doktor said after he heard about the vandalism, he wanted to see it for himself.

“I heard about the vandalism and took a walk to look at it. I couldn’t believe how abandoned it looked. The trail was washed out and the stained glass panels were gone,” he said.
Doktor decided to hold a clean up day and involve the community. That was last month. 
Although few in number on the day of the cleanup, Kane said, “We were a formidable force. As Margaret Meade once said ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed , it is the only thing that ever has.’ 
“The garden, in my opinion, has already been transformed.”
Kane said work will continue to be done on the garden. 
To get involved in restoring the Ashland Memorial Healing Garden, reach out to Cara Tirrell 508-808-9938; Dan Borelli 774-505-0311; or Julian Doktor 508-881-4664.