Joan Mara stands on the Spirit Garden walkway. Surrey council last week endorsed a recommendation to support the path’s extension with a $3,000 Community Enhancement Partnership grant. (File photo)

Joan Mara stands on the Spirit Garden walkway. Surrey council last week endorsed a recommendation to support the path’s extension with a $3,000 Community Enhancement Partnership grant. (File photo)

Council gives thumbs-up to South Surrey Spirit Garden pathway extension

$3,000 Community Enhancement Partnership grant endorsed

A walking path that runs along the north side of South Surrey’s Spirit Garden is to become a full-circle loop, following Surrey council’s approval last week of a $3,000 Community Enhancement Partnership grant.

According to a corporate report, the project aims to extend the existing asphalt path, which currently traverses the 2860 140 St. garden from 140 Street to an alley on the lot’s east side.

“The extension will provide a walking loop for residents to stroll around the Spirit Garden,” the report explains.

The garden grew out of a South Surrey woman’s vision to transform a drab greenspace into a place of beauty and serenity.

Joan Mara and her husband Jon began transforming the lot in 2009. It has grown into a place of colour and life; one often used as a backdrop for wedding and graduation photos. It is also a place where people can reflect on loved ones who have passed on; many plants, shrubs and flowers have been planted over the years in memoriam, and the Maras host an annual Solstice Stroll every June, when guests are invited “to find the spot in the garden that moves them most and light a candle there for a loved one.”

READ MORE: South Surrey’s Spirit Garden still growing

READ MORE: South Surrey Spirit Garden to host Solstice Stroll

According to the corporate report, the small project proposal is for a “crush-dust path lined with river rock,” to enhance access and usage of the space.

The grant was sought to off-set the cost of the project, estimated at $3,395.

City staff note the 2019 CEP program has a budget of $45,000, and that 48 CEP grants have been approved this year.