Skip to content

Hospice harvests Vernon landscaper’s green thumb for over 20 years

Society grateful for many volunteers, and donors ahead of first drive-thru fundraiser
Landscaper Marten Koops has put in thousands of volunteer hours over the last 22 years towards keeping the gardens beautiful at the North Okanagan Hospice Society. (Marg McCoy photo)

The gardens at Vernon’s hospice house are among some of the most beautiful in town, thanks to volunteers who lend their green thumbs.

Among them is local landscaper Marten Koops, firmly rooted in the North Okanagan Hospice Society (NOHS) gardens for more than 20 years.

“It has been a joy to see the care and attention Marten and the rest of our volunteers take in making our gardens so remarkable. His 22 years of commitment to our organization is an outstanding achievement, we are so thankful for his service,” said Lisa Matthews, NOHS executive director.

Vernon resident Jean Collier said Koops has put thousands of hours of love into the gardens.

“The gardens are so beautiful, so well laid-out, they welcome the visitors and nourish the residents of Hospice House. He truly deserves recognition for this labour of love,” said Collier.

Watch for garden tours in the spring and summer to see some of the work from Koops and others.

Those with a labour of love in the garden are just a few of the many examples of those who give to hospice.

While time is one invaluable service many volunteer, the end-of-life home relies on the donations of funds and items to keep the house running.

“We need to fundraise $52,000 per month to operate our house,” the society states.

In the kitchen alone, it costs more than $1,000 a week to run the services.

To help hospice, the society is hosting its first drive-thru fundraiser Saturday, Oct. 22, in the Lake City Casino parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Monetary donations, gift cards and other wish list items will be collected.

Some of the items on the wish list include Boost, butter, ginger ale, Jello, protein powders, dish soap, Kleenex, toothbrushes, unscented moisturizer, razors along with some major items such as gues recliners, security fencing, a new fridge, dishwasher and roof and more. The full list is available at

READ MORE: Tech support needed from Vernon volunteers

READ MORE: Voices of Vernon to build inclusion, understanding

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up

Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
Read more