BARRIE, ONT. -- As early as this summer, a corner of Barrie’s Sunnidale Park could be transformed into a garden recognizing the way COVID-19 has changed our lives.

The garden is the brainchild of the Rotary Club of Barrie and has been given initial approval by city council.

“We want it to be a last, physical, pleasant place for recollection and reflection, “says Ian Malcolm, chair of the club’s environmental committee.

Blueprints are still in development, but the Rotary Club envisions a ribbon of colour from blooming annuals, blossoming trees, a rock garden where kids might play, and a pavilion where families might gather.

The garden could also include a grove of coniferous trees, a peaceful spot to listen to the rustle of the branches and look back.

“We don’t want it to be a memorial garden so much, but we do want to remember those lost, those who’ve worked really hard to make this COVID time tolerable,” Malcolm says.

He explains that includes everyone from hospital staff to public health workers, teachers, students, and long-term care residents.

The Rotary Club has applied for a grant from the Canada Healthy Communities Initiatives to pay for the garden but expects them to get help from community donations and pitched in supplies.