Chesterton Tribune



'Trainquility Path Mindfulness Garden' proposed for Thomas Centennial Park

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We could all use a little tranquility in our lives.

Or--if you happen to visit Thomas Centennial Park in Downtown Chesterton--a little trainquility.

That’s the stylization of Laura Zaranski, owner of East Wind Acupuncture, who at the Park Board’s meeting Tuesday night pitched her concept for a Trainquility Path and Mindfulness Garden in Thomas Park, as one way for folks “to experience peace, balance, and tranquility in our daily lives.”

“The idea,” Zaranski told the board, “was sparked by the rampant increase in mental health issues and the rise of electronics that keep us from connecting to ourselves, others, and the environment; and by the new renovations here at the park.”

Among other things, the path and garden as Zaranski envisions them could include various stations for yoga poses, a meditation bench and stones, a rock labyrinth, and a reflection globe. It could be planted with such tactile plants as sage, passionflower, chenille, and snapdragon, and more fragrant ones like peppermint and sassafras, and decorated throughout with wind chimes, suncatchers, and tree art.

Funding could come from the community and local businesses but the goal would be to make the path and garden “low profile, low visibility, low cost, low maintenance, and low upkeep,” Zaranski said. “It would be a unique park, one-of-a-kind in the area,” and “great for all ages, all walks of life, all abilities.”

Zaranski noted that East Wind Acupuncture is celebrating its 20th anniversary in Chesterton this year, and this would be her way “to give back to the community that has helped East Wind’s success.”

Members though Zaranski’s concept a good one but indicated that they would need to review Thomas Park’s master plan to see how it might be folded into its future development.

“Some great ideas,” Member Jim Crawford said.

“Some wonderful ideas,” Member Candy Tucker agreed.

President Paul Shinn, for his part, urged Zaranski and her partner in the project, Mary Marshall, to meet and consult with MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala, who is currently working on a landscaping plan for the boxcar restroom and caboose comfort station in the park.

The board voted unanimously to take the concept under advisement.

Landscaping the Train Cars (And More)

And while on the subject of landscaping, Gadzala reported that she’s making good progress, working with Chesterton Feed & Garden and Lakeshore Landscaping, in coming up with a plan to landscape the area around the train cars.

Gadzala said that she’s looking to plant “little islands of flowers, different pops of color,” with flowers specifically selected for one of those islands to attract butterflies.

Gadzala is also exploring fencing for the area and has selected a three-foot tall aluminum model with a wrought iron look.

Meanwhile, she reminded members to think about the options for lighting: ground, elevated, mounted, or some combination thereof.

And, Gadzala concluded, she and Tucker together have made their final choice for the interior tiling of the boxcar restroom, and have communicated their decision to Larson-Danielson Construction of LaPorte, the contractor doing the actual retrofit.

At the moment, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported, Larson-Danielson is framing out the boxcar’s interior, and rough sawn lumber for the decking has been ordered and should be delivered in about five weeks.



Posted 8/8/2018




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