Warren Mayor Dave Wortman, First UMC pastor Mark Hecht, and CORE founder Kari Swanson break ground on a new Serenity Memorial Garden outside FUMC on May 7, 2023. Photo submitted.

Ground Broken for Serenity Memorial Garden

May 8, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – On the first Sunday during Mental Health Month, Choosing Openness Regarding Experiences broke ground on a new Serenity Memorial Garden outside First United Methodist Church in Warren.

The garden will serve as a place of reflection and peace for those families who have lost loved ones to suicide and mental health issues.

“(It is) a place for families and loved ones who have lost people to suicide, substance abuse, or other mental health issues to go, rest, reflect, and find some peace,” CORE founder Kari Swanson told Your Daily Local via text message.

While the ground-breaking took place during Mental Health Month, the garden’s dedication is scheduled to occur during Suicide Prevention Month in September.

“Such an emotional roller coaster for those whose loved ones have died from mental health and substance issues,” Swanson said. “CORE wanted to provide a place of comfort.”

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