Joan Downing, Sarah’s mother wrote, “When Sarah Bandes died very unexpectedly four years ago, her family and friends wanted to remember her in some way which might reflect her all-too-short life.” In 1996, “…with much hard work and a lot of help from Pocatello Regional Medical Center Community Action Committee and others, a garden was started in a weedy, empty lot on Grant Avenue.”
Her mother continued, “Some have wondered who Sarah Bandes was. She was a scholar and a teacher, a gardener and a singer, an artist and a financial counselor, an organizer and a very funny human being.” At the time of her death, she was working on her thesis for a PH.D. in medieval history, focusing on women in business during the medieval ages.
Zonta Club of Pocatello began helping with the maintenance of Sarah’s Garden on Earth Day 2001. Centennial Rotary Club and family friends joined Zonta for a major clean-up of the garden and surrounding area. Sarah’s Garden is part of the Pocatello Greenway so the Pocatello Department of Parks and Recreation has installed and maintained the sprinkling system, mowed the lawn and performed basic maintenance since 1996.
In spring 2016, the Ifft Foundation granted Zonta $6602 to landscape the garden into a low maintenance area (brick paths, effective mulch, new edging). Zonta Club of Pocatello and Joan Downing thank the Ifft Foundation, Pocatello Department of Parks and Recreation and Idaho Classic Landscaping for once again making the garden into a beautiful place near downtown Pocatello. Penelope Reedy said it best when she described the Sarah Bandes Rose Garden as a “pocket of peace and tranquility” for the community to enjoy.