Wayne's Walk Memorial Garden
Pause To Enjoy Award-Winning Garden Shortcut to Short Beach
Wayne's Walk is a scenic shortcut from Lordship's Riverdale Drive to Stratford's Short Beach.
Stratford's Beautification Commission honored the garden with a prestigious 2023 Beautification Award. Receiving the award (l-r) are garden volunteers Barbara Schaefer and Kathy Hener, garden designer Kevin Regan, and garden Captain Alanna Regan.
Marigolds glow beneath the wood fence.
A summer flourish of colorful flowers.
Hydrangea blossoms abound.
Above, a garden favorite is the purple Hyacinth flower bean pods. Right, a welcoming wave from the garden crew (l-r): Barbara Shaefer, Kathy Hener, Alanna Regan and Darlene Manson.
Garden Volunteers: Alanna Regan (Captain), Kathy Hener, Barbara Schaefer, Darlene Manson
By John Florian
Whether you walk or jog through Wayne’s Walk – the curving water-view shortcut between Lordship’s Riverdale Drive and Stratford’s Short Beach - you can’t help but notice and appreciate the small park’s four-season display of small trees, shrubs and vibrant-color flowers on your way.
Stratford’s Beautification Commission sure notices it, too, and honored the garden with a prestigious 2023 Beautification Award.
But who created and takes care of this gem? And what’s the story behind its name?
An inscription on a boulder in the center of the park begins the answers.
On land owned by the Town of Stratford, the garden was created by the Wayne’s Walk Foundation “in loving memory” of Wayne Nicholas Lecardo, who was killed by a “teen drunk driver” in 2007.
Years later the Foundation disbanded, and the Lordship Improvement Association (LIA) took on the challenge of renovating and maintaining the space (see #7 on the LIA’s Lordship Gardens map: https://bit.ly/LIAMAPGardens).
Local horticulturalist Kevin Regan, who at the time was chair of the LIA’s Beautification and Parks Committee, designed and led installation of the new garden.
Today Kevin continues as a consultant. And as team captain, his wife Alanna Regan leads volunteers Kathy Hener, Barbara Schaefer and Darlene Manson in year-round maintenance. The Town mows the lawn.
No matter the time of year, Wayne’s Walk is a delight.
Fronted on Riverdale Drive by a wood fence that's entwined in summer in a colorful flourish of flowers and shrubs, the garden eases into autumn’s peaceful hues, then to winter’s steady evergreens. And perennials renew the cycle in spring.
In all, an accounting of the garden’s flowers and shrubs seems like a nursery company’s inventory! Listed by Kevin Regan, here’s what to look for:
Evergreen Shrubs: Black Pine, Blue Juniper, Boxwood, Gold Juniper
Flowering Shrubs: Roses, Hydrangeas, Weigela, Deciduous Holly, Gold Spirea
Perennials: Agastache (purple), Creeping Sedum, Fountain Beach Grass, Mullins (pink), Salvia (blue), Cone Flower, Day Lillies, Coreopsis, Aster, Heleborus, Passion, Blue Fescue Grass
Annuals: Purple Hyacinths Flower/Bean Pods, Flowering Vinca, Marigolds
Even with all that, the LIA says Wayne’s Walk is a continuing work in progress. And not just for the benefit of walkers, joggers and beach-goers. Birds, butterflies and hummingbirds take notice and pause here, as well.
Note: A Stratford town parking permit affixed to the windshield is required to park a vehicle on Riverdale Drive.
See: About the author.
Volunteer! Enjoy meeting and working with your neighbors to enhance and preserve Lordship’s beauty. Say hello at LordshipIA@gmail.com.