Thanks to the Winona Health Volunteers and other generous contributors, the Robinson Healing Garden at Winona Health now features a pavilion to provide shade and serve as a gathering spot. To celebrate, the Winona Health Volunteers were honored at a Garden Party Friday evening, September 7, 2018.

The garden, which is located between Winona Health’s Lakeside Café and Lake Winona Manor, broke ground in fall of 2016 and was dedicated at a celebration in late summer 2017. After additional fundraising, the pavilion was built in August 2018.

Volunteers are vital

Volunteers are a vital and visible part of Winona Health. The legacy of generous and dedicated volunteers supporting local healthcare in Winona began nearly 125 years ago when what is now Winona Health was founded in 1894.

Today, 451 volunteers strong, led by Volunteer Manager Kris Walters, Volunteer President, Bernadette Thicke and board members, the Winona Health Volunteers not only raise money through a variety of fundraisers, but they also give of their time and talents throughout the hospital and clinic. From greeting patients and visitors and answering questions at information desks, to running the Glady D. Miller Gift Shop, to taking care of the aviaries in Lake Winona Manor, to giving residents gentle hand massages and dozens of other acts of caring and kindness to benefit Winona Health patients, visitors and staff.  In 2017, Winona Health Volunteers contributed 22,882 hours of service and over $61,000 from fundraisers back to Winona Health.

About the garden

The Robinson Healing Garden was funded completely from donations, beginning with a gift from the Doug and Ruth Robinson Family Trust. Both Doug and Ruth were very active in Winona and at Community Memorial Hospital, now Winona Health. The Bud Nystrom family gave a gift in honor of wife and mother Karen Nystrom. The Nystrom family honored her memory with a beautiful fountain, which serves as a focal point and a perfect place for peaceful reflection. In addition, many individuals and families have contributed to the garden’s growth by funding various areas throughout the garden along with trees, benches and engraved pavers interspersed throughout the paths.

The garden is open to all Winona Health patients, residents, visitors and staff and also to community members. Those interested in contributing to the garden with a gift or the purchase of an engraved paver can find more information at or by calling 507.457.4394.

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