Noah Iveson Gazebo Project Volunteers at Riverside Walter Reed Hospital

Noah Iveson dedicates his Eagle Scout gazebo project to grandmother.

Gloucester, Va. – “In loving memory of Mary Ellen Iveson.”

That’s what’s simply and lovingly written on the plaque hanging on the side of the newest addition to the Shirley Spain Healing Garden at the Cancer Center on the Middle Peninsula, on the campus of the Riverside Walter Reed Hospital.

This beautiful, red cedar gazebo was imagined, planned and constructed on June 1, 2019 by 17-year-old Noah Iveson for his Eagle Scout project. Eagle Scout projects, Iveson said, are meant to be something that both helps and involves the community.

Noah Iveson Gazebo Project at Riverside Walter Reed HospitalIveson raised $3,000 for the project – writing letters, asking his church congregation for support and launching an online GoFundMe page – and coupled that with funds from the Riverside Foundation.

The Shirley Spain Healing Garden opened to the community in 2016 following several years of fundraising and months of construction work.

The garden itself is more than 13,000 square feet and designed to be a natural healing space for cancer patients and their families.

“It was a really nice garden already, but I wanted to enhance it with a gazebo,” Iveson said. “What inspired me to do it was because my grandmother – Mary Ellen Iveson – passed away from cancer. She was always a huge part of my life and I wanted to do something in dedication of her.”

And for the community.

"I’m very pleased and happy with the way the project came out,” Iveson said. "I appreciate all the help I received for it, from my troop to my friends and family and all the mentors I had along the way."

Iveson, who will graduate from Mathews High School this month, is headed to the University of Virginia in the fall to study architecture.

For more information about supporting the Healing Garden, contact Jennifer Frank at 757-234-8740 or

Published: June 4, 2019