Garden of Treasures taking shape in Manti
MANTI—Elements of the “Garden of Treasures Under Temple Light” are starting to come together at the entrance to the Manti City Cemetery.
“We are thrilled to see what’s happening down there. We’re actually surprised at how far along we are,” says Jane Braithwaite, co-chair of the Manti Heritage Ad Hoc Committee, sponsor of the $117,000 project.
As of Monday, the concrete for the two-arch bridge, designed to replicate the kind of bridges the Mormon pioneers built across streams around Manti, was in place. A worker was putting up wrought iron railings on both sides of the bridge.
Besides being a replica of pioneer bridges, the bridge is a symbol of the connection between current residents and the 19th Century pioneers who settled Manti, Braithwaite says.
Other concrete walkways, including one running in front of the Pioneer Heritage Name Wall, have also been poured. And some lichen-covered boulders had been placed in the replica dry creek bed to the sides of the bridge.
The Name Wall, containing the names of modern-day donors to pioneer commemoration projects, and many of the donors’ ancestors, is the focal point of the Garden of Treasures. The bridge and walkways are designed to draw visitors up to the wall.
The next steps include putting down stone pavers on the walkways and bridge, putting lichen-covered boulders in the replica creek bed, and installing native plants and flowers around the bridge.
The stone pavers, cut at State Stone Co. in Murray, are being delivered this week, Braithwaite says.
“You can’t work on a project like this without feeling the sacredness of it,” she says. “Every name (on the wall) is a miracle in its own right.”
It took faith, courage and dogged determination to settle the desert valley where Manti is located. Braithwaite says that same spirit is reflected in the community effort to fund and install the Garden of Treasures.
“We have to keep this spirit going,” she says.
The ad hoc committee is still raising money for the project. Donations can be dropped off at Manti City offices or mailed to Carolyn Johnson, 70 N. 100 East in Manti.
The committee hopes to complete the project by Memorial Day, 2017.