Garden Of Hope To Be Dedicated With Acreage Park On Dec. 5

A look at the Garden of Hope from back when it was under construction last year.

The Garden of Hope, which is part of Acreage Community Park’s southern expansion, will be dedicated as part of the park’s overall dedication ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 5, according to the garden’s founder, Tracy Newfield.

The Garden of Hope is laid out in the form of a ribbon with paved bricks purchased by loved ones of those who have succumbed to cancer or other illnesses. The pathway is surrounded with lush landscaping, benches and trees dedicated by donors.

“We are going to be handing out certificates to everybody who has sponsored a brick, tree or bench, and we will be handing out goody bags,” Newfield said. “We will also have refreshments, lemonade, iced tea, and some cake and cookies.”

The dedication will be preceded by a parade hosted by the Indian Trail Improvement District from Citrus Grove Park to Acreage Community Park, followed by a flag ceremony, the dedication of the new amphitheater and playground, and finally the Garden of Hope.

Newfield, whose own daughter is a cancer survivor, said the development of the Garden of Hope has been 11 years in the making, which began as a drawing on a napkin. The nonprofit sustained its status by delivering care packages all over the United States, but mostly locally to cancer survivors.

She said a lot of her own money goes into the Garden of Hope nonprofit, but she has received enough from the sale of bricks, benches and trees to support the project.

“The people that I reach out to on our Facebook page are amazing,” Newfield said. “Whenever I say I have someone specifically that I’m working on a care package for, I’ll get all kinds of items donated to me.”

She especially credited former ITID Supervisor Mike Erickson with supplying plaques for the benches and trees. “About a month ago, his son passed away, and he has a brick in the Garden of Hope and a tree,” Newfield said.

ITID President Betty Argue said the park dedication will begin with the parade from Citrus Grove Park, with lineups to begin at 2 p.m.

“We will be going west on Citrus Grove Blvd. at 3:15 p.m. and then proceeding south down 140th Avenue North to Acreage Community Park,” Argue said. “Once the parade is complete, we’re going to have a flag ceremony, raising of the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, and then we’re going to do the ribbon cutting for the amphitheater site and then the children’s playground, and then after that, the Garden of Hope.”

After the dedication events, Santa will be available for socially distanced photo ops, and there will be a kids’ zone with train rides around the new athletic track. Food trucks will be there, as well as the Hall & Oates tribute band H2O breaking in the new amphitheater stage.

“Davis Clapp owns FM Entertainment, and he is going to be working with the Acreage Landowners’ Association to start bringing live concerts,” Argue said, adding that Clapp and the ALA will bring a proposal to the December ITID meeting for a series of concerts at the park.

The ALA, the Acreage Athletic League and Helping Hearts will also have booths at the event.

“People can bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Helping Hearts for local families,” Argue said.

Learn more about the Garden of Hope at