Soil, decomposed granite and flowers were all laid down by Girl Scout Katelyn Waugh at Pleasantview Industries to complete her Girl Scout Gold Award and provide Pleasantview workers a break place in an environment she personally enjoys – the outdoors.
In 2021, Waugh began her Girl Scout Gold Award journey. When thinking of ideas, she cited what was most important to her.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the world to be put on pause. Everyone was sent indoors. Waugh began to develop depression because of this.
She couldn’t see her friends or experience the outdoors, two things she deeply values.
Looking back at this experience, she decided she wanted to dedicate her project to promote mental health in a way that allowed people to do so outdoors.
Searching for a small business that would allow her project to come to life, she came across Pleasantview Industries.
Pleasantview Industries is an organization that offers opportunities to develop life skills and vocational skills in site-based and community-based environments to those with developmental disabilities.
Pleasantview Executive Director Ricki Macken Chilvers gladly allowed Waugh’s project to be born at the Saugus organization.
“I just took a look at the area back here, and I was like, this is perfect,” said Waugh.
Waugh began working to create an outdoor garden for the Pleasantview workers to take a break.
“There’s so much goodness here, but like at any business, I thought their workers could benefit from having this garden as a little quiet space, a time to take a breath and take a break,” said Waugh.
Waugh gathered up donations from friends, family, Green Nursery and neighbors to fund the project, but she also pitched in her own money from tutoring.
Many of Waugh’s friends donated their time and services over the span of many weekends building chairs, fountains and laying down the decomposed granite.
Throughout the process, Waugh learned how to manage budgets, time, communication and even install a drip irrigation system.
Prior to the dedication ceremony on Saturday, the garden had been completed. One of the first to enjoy it was a Pleasantview worker named Brandon.
However, Brandon had died on Nov. 25.
Instead of the original name “Pleasantview Wellness Garden,” Waugh named the garden “Brandon’s Garden.”
“He was a beloved client here at Pleasantview and it’s very meaningful to me to hear that he was actually one of the first to enjoy this space when it was completed and opened, and I’m honored to name this garden after Brandon in his memory.”