The GateHouse Completes Construction of Serenity Gardens at its Marietta Residential Extended Care Home

One of the most important aspects of recovery treatment from substance abuse is looking past addiction itself and focusing on the whole person.

“The path towards recovery lives in our minds and spirit,” said Keith Stoudt, Director of Support Services for The GateHouse. “Our residents need quiet places for reflection, meditation, and prayer, which is exactly what our new Serenity Garden is here to provide.”

Bringing Serenity to The GateHouse in Marietta

On September 28, 2021, The GateHouse broke ground on Serenity Gardens, situated within the 7.4-acre grounds of Riverview Tower in Marietta—now the home of The GateHouse’s Residential Extended Care for Women.

Serenity Gardens features a patio, waterfall, and paved, tree-lined walkways. With its main construction completed in December 2021, the finishing touches—planting flowers and installing a memorial bench and paving bricks—are planned for Spring 2022.

constructionConstruction of Serenity Gardens was initially planned to begin after the grand opening of The GateHouse for Women at Riverview Tower, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the project.

“We wanted to construct the garden shortly after the grand opening of the Marietta house, but life shows up, and plans change,” Keith said. “We had to adjust to life on life’s terms. And sometimes that’s not easy.”

“It’s a great analogy for the path of recovery,” he said. “You may have a plan, and it seems simple. But life shows up, and we adjust to the change. We try our best and we work together to collaborate on a path towards success.”

When COVID restrictions and health risks subside, The GateHouse will host a community event to officially unveil the gardens to the community.

Support From Sponsors and the Community

Serenity Gardens isn’t only a place of reflection for The GateHouse’s residents. It’s a serenity garden for the entire community to enjoy.

“We consider The GateHouse a part of the larger community, and we hope the community will see our serenity garden as theirs,” Keith said.

The gardens were brought to life thanks to sponsors and donors throughout the region. Many sponsors purchased bricks to be inscribed and featured in the walkways and structures of the garden.

Community members who want to support the Serenity Gardens project before the dedication event this spring can donate a brick, plant a tree, sponsor a bench, or help fund the purchase of a pavilion. You can download our Serenity Garden Project Form to learn more and donate.

“Not only do we welcome the community to join us in the garden, but we also can’t thank our local supporters enough,” Keith said. “It’s their generous support that made this project a reality.”

Walking Beside Clients to Accomplish Big Things

“At The GateHouse, our staff transforms and encourages lifelong recovery by walking beside clients, and that’s what we did to create the garden,” Keith said. “It was a collaborative effort between our staff and clients.”

Clients played a huge role in cleaning and prepping the grounds before the landscapers started their work, Keith said.

“It was a great sight to see them come together,” he said. “And I believe that gives them a sense of purpose and meaning,” Keith said.

Restoring the Human Spirit Through Recovery

Today, with the completion of the new Serenity Garden on the grounds of our women’s residence, the gardens are ready to help clients of The GateHouse continue their journey towards recovery.

For Keith, being a part of the project was especially meaningful as he reflected on his own recovery journey.

“Starting over isn’t easy,” he said. “Going into the recovery process with next to nothing isn’t easy. I’m 16 years into recovery. I started my journey in 2005, having nothing, having burned all bridges.”

Keith said there is no comparison to the program he entered when he began his journey and the beautiful facilities at The GateHouse at Riverview Tower in Marietta.

“Just imagine coming to this property to start your new life,” he said. “That was our intent—to make the gardens as beautiful, inviting, comfortable, and as open as possible. This is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve been a part of in my entire life. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of The GateHouse.”


When it’s time to begin living life in recovery, The GateHouse is here to support you or your loved one. We offer substance abuse treatment services for long-term addiction recovery, with locations throughout Lancaster County, PA.

The GateHouse creates a support system for each client to break the cycle of substance abuse and put them on a path towards recovery. Whether they need outpatient support, a transitional living environment, or residential treatment services, it’s here for them.

Let The GateHouse help you with your next step in recovery. Reach out to us today!

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