The hospice yard area was recently completed.

Vandals attack Vancouver Island space dedicated to the dying and their families

Hospice garden damaged in Campbell River

Campbell River Hospice only recently finished the garden area at the back of its building.

Already though, someone has vandalized some features at the site, specifically some bollards that run around a path on the grounds on Evergreen Road. In all, the culprit or culprits damaged six of the post lights.

“They’re lights that go around the perimeter of our area in the back,” said executive director Louise Daviduck. “It’s significant damage, especially considering that the building is new…. We just finished the yard. We just finished getting all the plants in place and now we have a beautiful pond and waterfall. Now the space is ready to use for grief.”

RELATED STORY: Hospice Build Team celebrates the official opening of Campbell River Hospice

The backyard area is designed to provide a comforting environment for people using hospice services.

“It’s a garden that is intended to be a space for people to go when they’re grieving and facing end of life,” Daviduck said.

She had just returned from vacation time when the damage was discovered one morning this week, so the hospice society is not sure when the vandalism took place.

She says the bollards have been hit with graffiti already. The society will now have to replace the units, as well as install security on site, so they do not have an idea of what the cost will be.

“We are going to secure the area, and we are going to cameras, so this nonsense can stop,” Daviduck said.

Hospice had been planning an event in the garden area on the evening of Dec. 18 and were to use the lighting.

“Those lights were a very important part of it,” she said.

They still plan to go ahead but are looking for donations of white Christmas lighting and extension cords as a temporary fix for the event. They could also use some volunteer help to put up the lighting.

The Lighted Garden Vigil is a seasonal event planned to allow people to come together to grieve and remember loved ones who have died.

RELATED STORY: Veteran hospice doctor credits Campbell River community for its thriving program

“It’s a place for people to come for grief around the holidays, and everybody comes together, and it’s a special kind of ceremony,” Daviduck said. “We were going to do that outside and celebrate our new garden, but I still want to go ahead and do that…. We’re not going to let it stop us.”

It will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Anyone is welcome, with admission by donation. For information or to help, contact Campbell River Hospice Society at 250-286-1121

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