Garden to honor late Sewickley Herald editor

Monday, June 25, 2018 | 10:57 AM

A freshly built garden at the Old Sewickley Post Office, complete with planted trees, a fountain and seating area, will honor the life of noted local historian B.G. Shields.

Construction on the B.G. Shields Memorial Garden began last week at the Sewickley Valley Historical Society, which Shields founded in 1973 and oversaw for more than 20 years. It will open to the public at the end of the summer.

“We wanted to come up with something that was a permanent reminder of everything she did (and) that will be around for years and years to come,” historical society Executive Director John Poister said. “This was a wonderful way to do it.”

Shields, who also was a longtime editor of the Sewickley Herald, died in 2017.

She was a “passionate believer in preserving the history of Sewickley and making the history of the Sewickley area accessible to the people,” Poister said.

“She was a strong voice for having people pay attention to the strong roots of our area,” he said. “She was a strong, strong force for historic preservation.”

The 35-foot by 65-foot garden will serve as an outdoor classroom and lecture space for the historical society and Sweetwater Center for the Arts, as well as a reception area and contemplation place, Poister said.

Local landscape designer Elise Keely developed plans for the garden.

The space will include a limestone wall and seating area that will compliment the exterior of the building.

It also will be accessible for people with disabilities.

“We think it will be just a wonderful addition to the building,” Poister said.

Funds for the project were raised through donations to the society's B.G. Shields Memorial Fund.

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.