In the quiet northwest corner of Parkway Place, a Houston senior living community, you’ll find a new prayer garden adorned with fresh flowers, a blue wooden cross and colorfully tiled benches. The hand-painted tiles feature an assortment of crosses, Bible verses and love notes to lifetime sweethearts.
The garden is the work of Peyton Price, a local high school senior who chose Parkway Place as his project site for becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. Price chose to construct the prayer garden after visiting his grandparents, who are residents at Parkway Place. He dedicated the garden to them.
“The garden is something not only they will enjoy, but everyone else will too,” Price said. “I wanted to do something that would leave an impact on others because they have done so much for me in my life. I am honored to dedicate this to them.”
Price enlisted help to clear the area, but on his own he pressure washed the garden area, installed the benches and planted flowers. He also crafted a cross which hangs on the brick wall between the benches. It features the passage from Romans chapter 12, verse 12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
“This project helped me demonstrate my leadership skills while giving back to the community,” Price said. “Thanks to Parkway Place, I was able to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, and I’m grateful to them for helping me achieve my goals.”
Price wasn’t the only one to contribute to the community’s newest amenity. Residents held painting classes to carefully decorate the bench tiles, and by the time the benches were installed more than 30 residents had contributed.
Now, residents use the prayer garden for different things. While some hold Bible study in the garden, others use it for Sunday service, including Dr. Bill Hinson, Price’s grandfather. Hinson says he is proud of his grandson and hopes that what Price did will inspire other teenagers to give back.
“It pleases my wife and me because we pray for our grandchildren and their relationship with the Lord,” said Hinson. “For Peyton to come up with this idea and execute it the way he did is so meaningful to us. I couldn’t think of a better place for it to be. I go out there about three times a week, and each time it puts a smile on my face knowing this was done by my grandson.”
Prayer gardens have many health benefits for seniors as well, including:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Find focus
- Feel comfort
- Create connection
- Get in touch with the big picture
“Peyton did a fantastic job, and we can tell he has already made an impact on the lives of residents at Parkway Place,” said Linda Fitzhugh, director of independent living for Parkway Place. “The garden has encouraged residents to get out and explore, and we love that. You can tell the residents get excited when they find their tile on the bench or sit out there for the first time. We cannot thank Peyton enough for doing the work to make this garden possible.”