By Robert Kincses

July 3rd, 2013 was a historic moment at the Dayton VA Medical Center. The event was the Grotto Springs and Garden Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Hosted by the Dayton VA Medical Center, this event was attended by the Medical Center staff, representatives from local, state and national government, Suzanne Mills-Wasniak from the Ohio State Extension Office of Montgomery County, Master Gardeners from the Ohio State Extension Office, and citizens from the surrounding Dayton community.

Mr. Weston Dick served as Master of Ceremony introducing a number of speakers including Mr. Glenn A. Costie, CEO/Medical Center Director, Judge Walter H. Rice and Mr. Robert Neff. Ms Bobbie Strobar, professional harpist, provided music for the ceremony. Noted guests included: Dr. Lance Davis, Deputy Network Director, VISN 10, and Dr. Greg Davis, OSU Extension Assistant Director for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The historic Grotto Springs area was begun in 1868. The landscape in recent years had experienced a deteriorated state. Under several recent Dayton VA Medical Centers Directors along with the partnership of the American Veterans Heritage Center, a restoration effort was begun.

In 2013 the American veterans Heritage Center reached out into the Dayton community asking the Ohio State Extension Office here in Montgomery County Ohio to assist in the restoration and maintenance of this historic landscape. This cooperative effort has given to our veterans, their families and the citizens of Dayton a place which once again can be used as “a place of gathering for camaraderie, family gathering, silent reflection and healing”.