Faces of Rosecrance: Edward Pillow

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Ed Pillow has been with Rosecrance for over ten years, and sees first-hand the importance of nature in the recovery process. He’s trained with Hoichi Kurisu, who designed the Healing Garden at Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus and Tim Gruner, head horticulturalist from Anderson Gardens in Rockford. Ed supervises a grounds crew that maintains the grounds for over six Rosecrance locations; they spend the majority of their time at Griffin Williamson because of the amount of maintenance the garden requires. “We have the kids work with us, they love getting their hands dirty. They help out with mums; they rake the gravel path. They’re learning about plants and how to respect the garden. They need to know that the plants are living organisms.“

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“I saw an ad and I thought, ‘I would really like to work outside.’ I came in, filled out a statement of interest, and it went from there. I actually still have that ad. I kept it, laminated it.”

ed-pillow-ad“The first thing that was tough was to generate a schedule, because you have irrigation to deal with, the weed control, mowing, and then the pruning. At first it was like ‘what did I get into?’ I was nervous when I first came on. In a garden with Japanese influences, there were plants that I wasn’t familiar with. The water level needs to be a certain way. There are koi fish so I had to make sure I was treating it with the right chemicals. It was a lot to learn. But I just took it a little at a time and generated a schedule.”

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“I see a lot of things in the morning, being in nature. It makes you appreciate what you’re doing. One day I looked over and saw a baby deer right next to me. When I started here, we probably had about three deer. Now we’re up to over a dozen in our woods.”