Budding tribute

Garden to honor late beautification committee president

The Marquette Beautification & Restoration Committee Inc., wants to establish a memorial garden for its late president, Tami Dawidowski, at Father Marquette Park. Dawidowski spearheaded an improvement project at the park. (Photo courtesy of the Marquette Beautification & Restoration Committee Inc.)

MARQUETTE — A memorial garden undoubtedly is what Tami Dawidowski would have wanted.

The Marquette Beautification & Restoration Committee Inc., wants to establish a memorial garden for its late president, who died March 1 at UP Health System-Marquette.

The garden would be adjacent to the proposed pedestrian walking trail leading to Father Marquette Park. Dawidowski helped initiate the Father Marquette Park improvement project that resulted in a $140,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund.

The park, which includes the Father Marquette statue, is located along Front Street.

“Tami felt very strongly that that park should be visible (and) accessible to all visitors to the city as well as residents of the city,” said Jill LaMere, committee co-president, to the Marquette City Commission on Monday.

Dawidowski

Although Dawidowski won’t see the park’s completion, LaMere told the commission it’s fitting to have a small section of the park dedicated to Dawidowski’s efforts and her memory.

The idea of the special garden came from committee Vice President Barb Kelly. The committee, Kelly said in a Wednesday telephone interview, wants the garden to be beautiful from spring through fall.

“We’re going to use some native plantings and others our committee will pay for,” Kelly said.

The committee also wants the Dawidowski garden to be distinctive, she said, and include a plaque or marker entitled “Tami’s Garden.”

The garden will be dedicated this summer when the park is dedicated.

“Tami’s Garden” would be about 340 square feet, with the committee entrusted to raising funds for the plantings, irrigation, the plaque and ongoing maintenance.

Following her death, the Dawidowski family requested memorials be sent to: Tami’s Garden, in care of the Father Marquette Park Fund, Marquette Beautification & Restoration Committee Inc., P.O. Box 334, Marquette, MI 49855.

The request to establish the garden had been forwarded to the Marquette Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, which at its March meeting reviewed and supported the request.

The city commission then approved the naming of the garden on Monday, with Mayor Dave Campana noting the garden is a “very deserving memorial” for Dawidowski.

“She has provided a great deal of leadership for this area and that park,” Mayor Pro Tem Tom Baldini said.

Commissioner Mike Conley thanked the committee for bringing the idea to the commission.

“I think this is a fitting tribute to a wonderful woman who has dedicated so much of her time and effort to beautifying the city and (was) dedicated to this park,” Conley said. “I think this is a wonderful idea.”

Commissioner Mike Plourde expressed his sadness that Dawidowski won’t get see the creation of the garden, while Commissioner Sara Cambensy noted the garden will be another piece of a project that she said will be a showcase.

Cambensy told the beautification committee: “I’m glad we’re doing this and thank you for bringing this forward.”

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.