Shades of Green Makes Major Commitment to Stay Green Forever
When Shades of Green Nursery co-owners Bob Webster and Roberta Churchin launched their business on Mother’s Day in 1981, they wanted to create a unique, organic nursery in a beautiful urban oasis. At the time, their neighborhood along West Sunset Rd. featured a hodgepodge of small wood-framed cottages and just a few office buildings.
Wow, have things changed.
Today, West Sunset, between Broadway and the railroad tracks, has been dramatically transformed. Most of the cottages are long gone, replaced by a variety of medical buildings and practices offering everything from plastic surgery, dermatology, internal medicine, cardiology, senior health care, pediatric dental care, and more. In addition, the stretch of road includes a relatively new car wash, Home Depot, a Mexican restaurant, and a dog boarding and grooming facility.
The only “green space” left on West Sunset is Shades of Green’s nearly two acres of land.
“It would break my heart to see the trees destroyed and the property turned into an apartment complex or such,” co-owner Roberta Churchin told me. Bob Webster echoed her thoughts. And that’s why Webster and Churchin are putting the property into a conservation easement. It will protect the site forever. They will still own the property, but the easement will ensure that the land must stay as it is. A sacred green space amid urban disorder. In short, Webster says, “It will always be a haven, a refuge, and a place for peace and quiet.”
The two have created “The Shades of Green Legacy Foundation,” a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization. Webster explained, “The nonprofit will enable us to raise tax-exempt dollars from donors to provide funds to help maintain the property as a public space, a living classroom for school kids, and a refuge for people to come to escape the stresses of their daily lives.”
Over the past several years, Webster and Churchin have visited unique gardens across the country to identify some of the characteristics they’d like to put into place at Shades of Green.
They were especially impressed by a space they saw in Carbondale, Colorado, the True Nature Healing Arts garden. It describes itself as a peaceful sanctuary, free and open to the public from dawn to dusk. The therapeutic environment incorporates several healing features, including a labyrinth, reflexology path, outdoor yoga space, and contemplative gardens. Webster and Churchin hope to incorporate some of those features into Shades of Green.
Webster said the transition is a few years down the road as they consider detailed plans for the sanctuary. He said they’d welcome input from anyone and everyone who has thoughts on what they’d like Shades of Green to become. For more information on the nursery, stop by 334 West Sunset, 78209, or visit www.shadesofgreensa.com.