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Caspar dedicates garden to Dell'Aras

Caspar dedicates garden to Dell'Aras

The Caspar Community honored two of its most dedicated supporters at a potluck dinner on Sunday, August 22nd, when a garden in front of the Caspar Community Center was dedicated to Mike and Ruth Dell'Ara.

Caspar dedicates garden to Dell'Aras

Mike Dell'Ara has been president of the community for several years, negotiating on behalf of the organization for the preservation of the Caspar headlands, which is now state property, and the purchase of the old schoolhouse, which has become the Caspar Community Center. His wife, Ruth, has worked tirelessly organizing events and helping in the restoration of the center.

The event was hosted by Judy Tarbell, the current president of the board, who explained that Mike and Ruth have recently begun a six month leave-of-absence from the organization to pursue other interests. Tarbell and several board members gave glowing tributes to the work and dedication that the Dell'Aras have given the community over the years. Then all in attendance, estimated to be about 75 people, were invited outside to admire the new garden that has recently been completed under the direction of Aaron Rathblott. Mike and Ruth were then asked to "pick up the trash", as a paper sack seemed to have thrown into the garden. When they picked it up it revealed a bronze plaque dedicating the garden to the Dell'Aras.

the Dell'Aras in the red circle

Tarbell was amused in telling of the development of the garden. "Mike was supposed to be on a leave-of-absence, but he just couldn't help himself. He kept coming by and helping Aaron with the planting, without knowing that the garden was for them."

The new rock garden, which runs across the front of the community center and behind the post office boxes, was the inspiration of Rathblott, who proposed the project and spearheaded its creation. He even built in a bench where Casparadoes can stop to read their mail. Dirt Cheap of Fort Bragg donated the stones for the garden, and the plants were all provided free of charge by local nurseries: Digging Dog, Hare Creek, Heartwood, and North Star. Local sculptor and metalworker Tom Brown cast the plaque, which honors the Dell'Aras for "their vital contribution to creating community."

Dalen carves at the Caspar Dinner
Caspar Community Center Potluck

written by Jerry Juhl for the Mendocino Beacon, 23 August 2004
photographs by Michael Potts

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