Joe Azbell retired as assistant director from Niagara Cerebral Palsy in 1999. But for the past two summers, he and his wife, Carol, have spent a couple of hours each week on their hands and knees pulling weeds in the agency's Children's Memorial Garden at 9812 Lockport Road.
The garden, which includes stones and plants in memory of NCP's family and friends, was built in 2006. "We were concerned about all the effort and work that went into it," Carol said. "The sad part is that the money came from a grant, so it's gorgeous for a few years, but there isn't money for maintenance. This, nature, is very important to us."
The Azbells dedicated a stone in the garden to their daughter, Dana, who attended programming with the school as a child. "This was something we can do to give back," Carol said.
Joe estimates they spend about 80 hours maintaining the garden each summer. "There's two of us, and we put in about four hours each time, over the course of the summer," he said. "We have the time."
"I think it's a beautiful garden," Carol said. "It's great for children to go through and see how much everything changes."
This spring, kids planted squash, which is starting to show signs of growth.
For more information about NCP or the Children's Garden, call Katharine Cassens at 716-297-1478, ext. 173, or visit the NCP website at www.niagaracp.org.