GUILFORD >> Vandals have destroyed a nonprofit’s public sensory garden twice since the start of June.
Roses for Autism is a nonprofit that attempts to foster meaningful employment for individuals with autism. Since 2015, the organization has worked to create a public sensory garden at their Guilford-based farm for the entire community to enjoy.
Michelle Ouimette, managing director of Roses for Autism, describes the sensory garden as a “place where families could come and experience its therapeutic effects, a place where there was a sense of belonging without judgment, a place of quiet reflection.”
On June 1, Roses for Autism purchased two large outdoor rose bushes, five gerbera daisy plants and grass seed. The items in the sensory garden were set overnight, but when employees arrived the next morning, they discovered all of the items were stolen and the trellis broken, Ouimette said in a statement.
The nonprofit was unsure how they would replace the plants before their ribbon cutting ceremony on June 24, but Ouimette said several members of the Guilford Police Department donated their money to buy Roses for Autism new plants.
However, it was discovered June 12 the vandals had returned and once again dug up the plants. The vandals also stole the garden statues and lawn ornaments, Ouimette said.
“The vandals don’t realize the ripple effects of their actions,” Ouimette said. “The hardest part is trying to explain to our supporters why this has happened twice in the last ten days, thus forcing us to cancel our ribbon-cutting event until we…
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