Dole VA Memorial Peace Garden - Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center
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Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center


Dole VA Memorial Peace Garden

Dole VA Memorial Peace Garden Banner


Dole VA Memorial Peace Garden Proposed Layout (Click for a larger version) 

Click here for the Dole VA Memorial Peace Garden Slideshow!

The Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center is currently experiencing a shortage of outlets for Veterans, their families, and employees to provide emotional relief, physical relief, and restoration. A number of Dole VA Veterans and their families have requested a proposal for an on-campus garden to meet these needs. The Dole VA Medical Center Memorial Peace Garden will serve to enhance our mission of “improving the health and well being of the Veterans we are honored to serve.”


The Dole VA Memorial Peace Garden will provide an opportunity for therapeutic gardening for Veterans, their families, and employees. This will provide a restorative environment in which employees can enjoy during their breaks and/or lunch period(s). In addition, interactive raised bed garden spaces can demonstrate and educate visitors about the economical, nutritional, and psychological benefits of food gardening.

" Nature heals the heart and soul, and those are things the doctors cannot help. That's what this garden is all about — healing the parts of yourself that the doctors can't."

-Deborah Burt


The Memorial Peace Garden will be located on the land just North of Building 5. This will be accessible to all Veterans, family members, and staff. The garden would be designed to be handicap accessible and "soft" barriers including decorative bushes would be planted along the border to protect from people gardening too close to the adjacent road. The garden will be a non-smoking environment as well as therapeutic. It will be passive as well as interactive. A space that is accessible for all Veterans, their families, and employees.

Click here for a photo of the garden area



The garden will be paid for solely by donations. Memorial paver bricks are available to purchase to place within the garden at a cost of $50 per brick. This price includes the engraving of the brick (4x8 red clay pavestone) and a slight cost that will help offset upkeep and replacements of plants/ supplies for the garden. Any profit from the cost of the bricks will be used to pay for the initial installation of the brick area to be established. Additional profit above the installation cost of the memorial brick area will be placed into a "garden" account and used strictly for the maintenance, cost, and upkeep of the garden.


For more information or to order your memorial brick paver please contact Rick Kennedy at (316) 685-2221 Ext. 53222 or by email: You can also contact Rick for information about volunteering at the garden. Volunteers are always needed to support the garden on a maintenance team.


The proposed garden was designed by a landscape architect to be very low maintenance. However, as with any garden there will be a need for weekly upkeep. A core maintenance team has been developed to provide the maintenance upkeep. Others are welcome to assist with the maintenance as desired, but the core team will ensure maintenance will be done weekly. Maintenance will be done by volunteer employees on their off-duty hours at their convenience and/or others who wish to participate.


The proposed timeline for each step of the garden installation process is as follows.

  • July-August 2012
    • Spray existing crabgras
  • October 2012
    • Media blitz (Website, Twitter, Facebook) for additional donations
    • Erect fencing around area
    • Garden area mapped/marked for excavation and concrete installation
    • Grading and excavation by Lawnworks
    • Form Laying by Holland Paving
    • Irrigation installed under sidewalk areas by SSI Irrigation
    • Concrete Pouring by Cornejo Construction
    • Installation of irrigation under garden area by SSI Irrigation
    • Topsoil Deliveries by multiple donors
    • Backfil and Grading by Lawnworks
    • Raised bed garden installation by Lowe's
    • Garden shed and Wheelchair ramp installation by The Home Depot Foundation
    • Benches placed in marked areas
  • TBD
    • Garden planting (trees, plants, flowers delivered and planted)
    • Flagpole(s) installed
    • Memorial pavers installed
    • Sculpture delivered and installed
    • Ribbon cutting and Dedication ceremony

*** Timeline subject to change as weather/availability of resources allows. ***


Thanks to our donors!

  • Lawnworks Inc. Jeff Hiss
    • Excavation and layout
  • Rice-Foster Associates
    • Garden Design plan
  • Cornejo Construction Bill Wenger
    • 3000 lbs of mixed concrete delivered to site
  • Holland Paving Inc. Fred Dimick
    • Labor and supplies to lay concrete forms and oversee concrete pouring
  • Lowe's Store # 614 Ridge rd location Scott Hanika-and Lowe's Heroes
    • Labor and supplies to build four raised bed gardens to the design plan and deliver and position on site(twice). Also one roll of Landscaping fabric.
    • Allowing on site table for fundraising and publicity- two occasions.
  • Home Depot Store # 2204 Woodlawn location - Daniel Moore/Tamara Brown and "Team Depot" volunteers
    • Labor to assemble kit on site garden shed including painting, slab prep, & install roofing.Shed delivery from Kansas City to site. Labor to position Mediterranean benches.
  • Tuff Shed Co. Doug Burns
    • Discount on garden shed kit
  • SSI Sprinkler Systems Jerry Goodwin
    • Irrigation plan with Labor and all materials for installation of automatic sprinkler system and a repair service call
  • Ryan Lawn and Tree
    • Large loads of wood chips delivered
  • Schuette"s Dirtworks Lyle Schuette
    • 15 ton 50-50 topsoil compost mix delivered
  • Central Sand Co. Stan Martin
    • 18 tons topsoil delivered
  • Home Depot #2204 Woodlawn location Drew Kendall
    • Delivery, instructions, pick up and use of large roto-tiller
  • Benton's Greenhouse Hutchinson location Diana Beasley
    • Winter Gem Boxwood bush
  • Johnson's Landscape Distribution David Hall
    • 3 Crimson Spire Oak trees with delivery Manhattan Euonymous bushes Karl Foerster Reed Grass, & Variegated Liriope
  • Hong's Landscape and Nursery Inc Lori Hong
    • 22 Varigated Liriope
  • Hillside Nursery Inc. Mark McHenry
    • Gala Apple Tree, Capital Pear Tree, Green Mountain Boxwoods, Renaissance Spireas, Sedum Kamtschaticams
  • Treetop Nursery & Landscaping Inc. Mark Matney
    • Blue Tamarix Juniper, Goldmound Spireas, RadRazz Knockout Roses, Dwarf Sweetspires, Cleaveland Select Pear Tree with delivery to site
  • Gard'n-Wise Scott Wise
    • 55 - 50lb bags Cotton Bur Mulch
  • Two Men and a Truck Garret Peterman
    • Pick up and delivery of bags of mulch to the garden site
  • Dutch's Greenhouse Frank, Cyndi DeRee
    • Columnar Boxwoods, Peony bush, Hostas, Daisies
  • Brady Nursery Cathy Brady
    • Shantung Maple Tree, Korean Lilac, Dwarf Mugo Pines, annuals
  • Charlene Schneider
    • Day lilies,Consulting in early phase of garden.
  • Hillside Feed and Seed George Sanders
    • Tomato and Pepper plants for Raised beds, Herbs when needed
  • Stutzman's Greenhouse Jason French
    • Lamb's Ears, Icee Blue Juniper, Hakone Grass
  • Tree-rific Landscaping Inc.
    • 5 May Night Salvia
  • Arnold's Greenhouse Darlita Jelinek
    • 3 Blue Chip Buddliea , 2 Silvermound Artemesia
  • Heidi Barrus B.S.N. M.S.N.
    • Plants, patio stones, painted tomato cages, sandwich lunch, cases of water bottles, ice for garden volunteers
  • Paula Amos
    • Herbs for herb garden, planted herb section. Painted and placed plant markers. Assisted in delivery of bushes and trees to the garden.
  • Barbara Richardson
    • Lemon Thyme
  • Kendi J. Alumbaugh
    • Chocolate Mint
  • Bob Neier
    • Irrigation drip line supplies
  • Norvalee Kolar
    • 2 Korean Lilacs, 1 Black Diamond Crepe Myrtle
  • Ed and Joan Nutter
    • 2 Pocket Hoses
  • Chad Waters
    • Straw bale for mulching raised beds and plants
  • Susan Harvey
    • Plants for Raised beds
  • Ace Hardware Store E. Central Location Brian Garten
    • 3 Hoses and 2 hose racks
  • Indian Hills Ace Hardware Wayne Butterfield
    • I cultivator tool, solar lights, Motion detector flood light, garden gloves, copies of garden shed keys, pruning tool, Hose guides
  • Key Construction David Wells
    • Use of 300 feet of temporary construction fencing.
  • Foley Equipment Rental Sean Buchanon
    • Use of of Compact Track Loader for 1 day for moving materials in garden
  • Phil Moser
    • Tool Racks for garden shed, water bottles for volunteers, arranged for track loader donation
  • Heartstone Tom White
    • 8 ton tensar aggregate delivered and installed on garden site. also providing discount on brick price for memorial space and discounted bricklaying
  • Sedgwick County Extension Agency Bob Neier
    • Garden Implements needed for planting day
  • Eck Monument Brad Eck
    • Promotional engraved brick at no charge
  • Absolute Natural Stone Nazir Jesri
    • Discounted delivery fee of Mediterranean benches
  • City Blue Print Deb Gronniger
    • Discount on Flyers for Garden publicity
  • Dillons E. Central location Joel Strain
    • Coffee and doughnuts for volunteer workers
  • Freddy's Frozen Custard Rock Rd location Elizabeth Pham
    • Lunch for 15 volunteer workers and drinks
  • Jimmy John's Matt Brane
    • Lunch for 30 garden volunteers

Thanks also to the following companies that allowed us to set up a table for garden publicity, to collect volunteer names, advertise the garden therapy, sell memorial bricks, accept donations and educate the public about VA Behavioral Health outreach programs.

  • Big Lots East 21st street Location LaMont Spencer
  • Lowe's S. Ridge location 2 separate occasions Scott Hanika
  • Gander Mountain Store 370 Todd Barker

A special thanks goes out to Sedgwick County Extension Agent Bob Neier for help in preplanting phase and for expertise and labor on planting day and consulting after planting. As well as thanks to Master Gardeners Don Wells, Jan Brockman, Butch Ewing and Bill Cawood.


Wish List Button
Cedar Mulch
Seasonal Annuals
Telescoping flagpole/flag
Memorial symbol feature
Garden tools and gloves
Regular standing height planting/potting table
A volunteer with carpentry skills for small projects



Feature News Article

Click here to read more about how the garden was developed, and the people involved in making it happen.


Robert J. Dole VAMC

Cash Donations Button


Francis W. Bloomcamp
Leon J. Setter
Jordan Chiropractic Clinic
Freddy's Frozen Custard company
Emprise Bank
Wells & Bengtson families
The Home Depot Foundation
Chapter Four DAV
 See Voluntary Service for Order Form
Thanks Button


Thanks also to Eck Monument who will be engraving the bricks for the memorial brick area, and the VA employees and other committed people who will be on the garden maintenance team for ongoing garden maintenance after the garden is installed.

Heidi Barrus and Laura Nutter 

(Photo by Curtis Tasset)


A special thanks goes out to Laura Nutter and Heidi Barrus, for the extra effort they have provided in leading this project. Laura’s inspiration and motivation for this garden grew from a dedication in her father’s memory. For Heidi Barrus, she went above and beyond her normal job duties to lead this project, and it will offer an opportunity to introduce the Dole VA to a interest she has in a new type of therapy called horticulture therapy.

Thank you also to Senator Bob Dole, for his hand-signed note offering his support and encouragement!


A1C Don Kolar Button 

A1C Don Kolar 

A1C Don Kolar Brick (Click the brick above for a larger view.)