Recreating repose – Storm-damaged trees removed at Providence

August 2021 Posted in News, Other

By Brenna Wiegand

The feeling of serenity on the campus of Providence Mt. Angel Skilled Nursing Center is – was – owed largely to the stands of mature oaks and other trees that seem to stretch out their arms to shelter and to heal.

The ice storm changed all that, devastating the trees and damaging roofs around the nursing center building.

“There was not any ground that wasn’t covered with huge limbs,” outgoing Executite Director Emily Dazey said. “We haven’t been able to use our therapy garden since February; it’s been closed along with parts of our outdoor patios.

“Saying that the impact is big doesn’t even begin to describe it,” Dazey said. “We’re actually going through some mourning after we’ve had these trees as long as we have but they just aren’t safe anymore.”

As they watch the mighty oaks fall, those at PBNC try to focus on moving forward, collaborating with professionals on plans to redo the surrounding landscaping and create new spaces, new shady spots and walking paths and build up the beauty of the setting.

“We plan to create something that is lovely in a completely different way,” Dazey said.

This won’t be cheap, and costs fall directly on the Mount Angel facility.

“Just the cost to remove storm-damaged trees has already topped $70,000, and the work to re-envision our grounds and replant with new trees, shrubs and flowers that combined will offer shade and beauty will be equally costly,” reported PBNC Foundation Director Phil McCorkle. “Looking back to our founding years, we recall the partnership of the community in sharing the expenses of building our facility and, much as back then, we invite the public to participate in the remaking and rebuilding of this place of healing.”

The nursing center hopes find ways to repurpose some of the wood into something that pays tribute to the trees folks have leaned on for comfort for more than 60 years.

“We want to find some creative ways to have them continue to be part of our landscape,” Dazey said.

How to help

Donate online at: https://give. benedictine or mail contributions to Providence Benedictine Nursing Center, Attn: Foundation, 540 S. Main St., Mt. Angel, OR 97362

For more information on the project or to explore naming opportunities to honor or remember a family member, community leader, or loved one, contact Phil McCorkle, foundation director, at 503-689-7759.

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