Culpepper Garden, Arlington’s sole retirement community for low-income seniors, welcomed Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08) and Arlington County officials for a dedication ceremony in honor of the city’s first responders on Wednesday, April 12. Representatives from the county sheriff, police, fire, and emergency management departments joined Rep. Beyer to inaugurate the First Responders Garden in the garden to mark the contributions of first responders to the Arlington community.
“There is no better group to honor than these outstanding individuals who bring their professionalism and compassion with them every time they step into our buildings. We know when we see their vehicles, whatever the circumstance, they are there to serve and support,” said Culpepper Garden Executive Director Marta Hill Gray. “Our gratitude knows no bounds and in these times of much uncertainty we have chosen to dedicate our gardens to those who came before you, those of you who are with us today, and to those who will serve us in the future.”
Rep. Beyer echoed the sentiment in his remarks, “I share the gratitude for our first responders. My dad was an Army MP so I know the sacrifice and dedication it takes to be in this line of work. Whether it’s a Capitol Police officer protecting me and my colleagues, a 9-1-1 operator, or a driver engineer, your work is truly valued. Thank you for having me here today for this special dedication.”
Culpepper Garden provides 350 affordable apartments for low-income older adults and is home to a vast green space that is home to more than 30,000 daffodils and numerous native Virginia plants.
“The First Responders Garden will be a place of beauty, refuge, continued growth, improvement, and investment,” Gray continued, “We will continue to gather each spring and honor you with this ceremony that will allow us to share the progress of the gardens. Each fall we will ask members of the community of responders to come and help us plant new trees in honor of the relationship we treasure.”
The gardens are the longstanding legacy of Charles Washington Culpepper, a horticulturist and civil servant who tended meticulously to the garden before selling the property in 1971. A team of volunteers, gardeners, and staff work year-round to maintain the gardens, and add a new batch of daffodil saplings and native plants each year.