Among the COVID-19 pandemic’s widespread impacts has been the closing of Poston Gardens in Waxahachie.
“Unfortunately, only two weeks into its second season, COVID-19 has forced Poston Gardens to close its gates with more than 500,000 tulips still blooming,” marketing director Rosie Reichenstein said.
Visually stunning in breadth and color, the gardens are not only a major tourism attraction but also fulfill several significant needs for the residents of Daymark Living, which serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
”Poston Gardens is more than just a field of tulips,” Reichenstein said. “The gardens are a labor of love from John Poston that provides opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to reach their highest potential. In just their first season, Poston Gardens provided educational/vocational opportunities for 50-plus individuals with IDD, funded four full Daymark Living scholarships and connected thousands of people to the special needs community.”
With shelter-in-place in effect, the half-million tulips still in bloom will simply stay in the field and yield a loss for the residents’ employment and scholarship opportunities.
“Those 500,000 tulips could have made a difference,” Reichenstein said, describing residents and staff as “devastated” at the news the gardens would have to close prematurely.
The tulip-filled gardens are the brainchild of Daymark Living founder John Poston, a unique idea that has resulted in multiple trips to Holland and an international crew working together to create a true “field of dreams.”
“So, we’re rallying together to keep John’s vision alive so that we can continue to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities,” Reichenstein said. “We need to raise $300,000 to help Poston Gardens reopen its gates next year.”
Once they open in March, the gardens typically are open to the public seven days a week and well into April. Besides the tulip sales, companion events also are staged to assist with the fundraising efforts.
Having to close the gardens early this year not only impacted their priority goal of raising scholarship money but also the amount of seed money needed to plant the gardens in the first place. Tulips are not a perennial in Texas but must be replanted each year. From planning to bulb procurement to planting, it’s a process that needs to begin months in advance of a spring opening.
Although it is a difficult time for everyone with the pandemic, Reichenstein said she hopes there are those within the community who will contribute toward the seed money for bulbs so there can be a third season. She notes several ways in which people can help:
1. Make a donation online at https://postongardens.com/product/donation/.
2. Share Poston Garden’s Facebook post about this season’s early closure and request donations from their friends and families.
3. Let others know how Poston Gardens has impacted their life by posting a comment on the Poston Gardens page or in a post of their own using the hashtag #SavePostonGardens.
“Together we can continue the mission of Poston Gardens,” Reichenstein said. “Thanks for your continued support.”