News from the Charles Baber Garden Cemetery

America has spectacular parks ranging from national parks with thousands of acres to community parks consisting of one acre or less. The sights in the national and state parks can be awesome with majestic mountains or canyons, waterfalls, geysers, hot springs, red stone arches, granite monuments, and large bodies of water for fishing and boating. Many of the parks may also have camping and lodging facilities and ranger stations. The national parks, which are federally funded, and some of the state parks, which are state funded and federally assisted, charge entrance fees or parking and usage fees. The majority of the national parks are quite a distance from Pottsville and require air flights and several days of lodging, or long drives and overnight lodging. While all of these parks, whether national or state, are indeed fun, exciting, and educational to visit, many are not readily accessible, and in these economic times, not often affordable to visit.

Upon visiting the parks, the tourist is a transient visitor passing through to enjoy and partake of these wondrous sights; however, because of the cost, distance, or location, it is unlikely that the visitor will be able to return for a second or third time. This is where a community park fills the niche for everyday use and visitation. This is where the Charles Baber Garden Park, the Yuengling Park, the Joulwan Park, and the walking trail by the Kennedy Pool, provide free, easily accessible, convenient and variable recreational alternatives. Each park is distinct and unique to itself. The Yuengling park, which is masterfully and architecturally crafted, provides a compact seating and meditation area, and a small play area. On the east side of Pottsville, residents have the Joulwan Park which offers a large playground area with a basketball court (and at one time, a mountain feed cold spring water swimming pool). The walking trail between the Kennedy pool and Providence Place offers a long and natural walking and jogging trail and gives the feeling of being in the deep woods.

Charles Baber Garden Cemetery is a very unusual community park. It is both a park and a cemetery. While it is not, nor does it want to be, a recreational park with playground equipment and basketball courts, it is a large natural garden park. Of all the local community parks, it has the largest acreage of planned and carefully manicured “green space”, a meditation area, paved and grass walking paths, visibility, accessibility, a variety of trees, a variety of birds and butterflies, and yes, of groundhogs and squirrels, a variety and uniqueness of each of the headstones, and the beauty of a Gothic chapel and Egyptian Revival gateway entrance. It has the greatest offering of an all natural environment while being situated in the heart of Pottsville with easy and free accessibility. It offers a refuge from the busy day life—a place to walk, jog, rest, meditate, or grieve in a serene, unhurried, natural surrounding. We invite you to come and visit the garden park and cemetery.

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