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Work Is Being Done To Restore A Rochester Hidden Gem

The Oasis of Grace at St. Joseph's Park had fallen into disrepair. But now work is going on to bring it back to life.
The Oasis of Grace at St. Joseph's Park had fallen into disrepair.  But now, work is going on to bring it back to life.

It was once a place for weddings and concerts, an escape in the middle of Rochester.  But now the Oasis of Grace at St. Joseph's Park has seen better days. 

"The garden was first developed in 1980.  It was active for five to seven years and after that, economic restraints at the Landmark Society made it difficult to maintain, so they closed it," said Greg Frank of Ted Collins Tree and Landscape.

Now there is a push to revitalize the space. Ted Collins Tree and Landcape took on the project as a way to give back to the community. 

"It was great that a local business came forward really without being solicited for a donation,"  said Wayne Goodman, Executive Director of the Landmark Society of WNY.

The project has already been several months in the making.  Work began last fall and the hope is to be finished by July 4th.

"Since then we've done a lot of tree work and a lot of clean up we've taken some of the old soil away. put new soil in. so we have some good organics to start to develop some plant material," said Frank.

Already the park is starting to look more like its former self.

"This was a space back when it was a church where people would come to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and we're trying to make that same thing happen. We could have little orchestras and events and really utilize the space in the center of Rochester," Frank added.

It's a part of history the Landmark Society hopes to preserve.  

"That area of Rochester is really unique. There is a lot of great architecture in that area and the landmark society really feels like there is great potential in that neighborhood," said Goodman. 

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