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Local assisted living facility creates 'parking lot ponds' for residents

COVID-19 restrictions couldn't stop these folks from safely wetting a line and re-living memories of fishing trips gone-by.

MUNROE FALLS, Ohio — The pandemic has been tough on everyone, but none more than residents of assisted living facilities and nursing homes. For months, they have not been able to have visitors or get outside. 

So as a treat, organizers at a local assisted living facility set out to gift residents a unique day of fishing. 

It may not look like much of a fishing hole, but for the residents of Mulberry Gardens Assisted Living in Munroe Falls, it's as big as all outdoors. 

Residents walked and wheeled their way to the parking lot "ponds" which were loaded with fish. They settled in, rods in hand, waiting for a bite, remembering days gone-by. 

"Well I wish I was at East Harbor State Park on Lake Erie,"  remembered resident, Angler Ginny.

Virginia Waterloo, rod in hand, recalls she didn't fish much, "Not me, my husband. He went fishing at least once a week."

Suddenly, in the next pond over, there was a commotion and splash. Robert Cochran caught one of the bluegill by hand. 

"My dad taught me that. He was a real fisherman," Cochran explained. 

Next to Robert, Jean Keller was working her bait right in front of one of the tight-lipped fish. She shared some of the locations her Dad took her to many years ago. 

"Mogadore. We went to Mogadore, Silver Lake a lot." She was not surprised when told those are still great places to fish. 

Even though the bluegill didn't bite, they took these folks on a trip to the past and some much needed peace of mind. That's the magic of fishing. 

"Even in the months to come, no matter how hard it gets, this is something that's really going to hold them together and bring them through that," said Mulberry Gardens Activities Director Sara Booker.

And just maybe help them to feel young again, at least for a day. 

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