Petersen Rock Garden 'rocks' grand reopening

Long-time Redmond attraction was shut nearly six months for cleaning

POSTED: 8:36 PM PDT May 26, 2013    UPDATED: 8:38 PM PDT May 26, 2013 
REDMOND, Ore. -

Closed for nearly six months, Redmond's Petersen Rock Garden had a grand reopening ceremony on Saturday and Sunday.

The garden, which was built nearly 80 years ago, features dozens of sculptures crafted with rocks and gems, a museum and gift shop, and peacocks.

Built by current owner Susan Caward's grandfather, the garden had been deteriorating for years as Caward struggled to maintain the vast property and lawns.

But with the help of 10 volunteers, she decided it was finally time to spruce it up.

Caward said Sunday a lot of junk was cleared out, the grounds were given some tender loving care, and the buildings freshened up and cleaned out.

But she said there is still a long way to go before the renovation is complete.

Sunday's celebration included Warm Springs tribal members who sang and blessed the business.

Dozens came out to enjoy the attraction -- many who had paid to the rock garden years, even decades earlier.

"The energy and the positive people coming through and saying, 'Hey, you're doing great!' -- this means a lot, to be able to open it up to the public again," Caward said.

Caward also said she is considering reopening a cafe that closed years before, and may even renovate her home and turn it in to a bed and breakfast.

Caward and her development manager are still working on getting the garden on the National Registry of Historic Places, which would make them eligible for some grants.

Follow their activity on the rock garden's Facebook page.