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Child's Remembrance Garden visitors encouraged to '... say their names'

The Northview
Lead Summary
Brenda Winter, columnist

A chain link fence separates my backyard from the new Child’s Remembrance Garden in the northwest corner of Luverne.
The formerly neglected space in Tonto – now Firefly Park – has been transformed into a stunning collection of brick paths, a stone wall, a labyrinth, a fountain, a pergola and lots of greenscape.
The purpose of the garden is, “To provide a non-denominational safe area for people who have lost a child to grieve, remember and heal.”
Dozens of people meander through the garden every day. Some come alone to sit on one of the benches and stare quietly at nothing.
Others come with a spouse or a friend and stare together.
Kids charge directly up the rock wall and balance precariously on its highest edge. A sign proclaiming, “Do not climb” would be completely pointless.
Riders from the bike path park their bikes and wander through the garden, helmets in hand, reading the names on the bricks.
Occasionally a group will take a seat at the table under the pergola and rest awhile.
Young lovers on long walks, believing they are alone, use the space to process their issues. They are not alone. I am watering my shrubs and am right there with them.
I interviewed the members of the committee whose efforts built the garden. One desire they expressed is that the garden would be a place where their loved ones would be remembered. “We want people to say their names.”
Lots of sounds fill the garden. The ring of my wind chimes drifts across the fence.
A family of crows screeched and cawed its way through spring.
Squeaking chains on the park swings sometimes provide an odd background rhythm.
Kids yell.
Dogs bark.
A lawn mower.
A weed eater.
A truck braking on the highway.
A pheasant in the bean field honks his authority over the territory.
Blended with it all is the sound of water splashing from the garden’s rock fountain.
And sometimes, people walking through the garden begin to read aloud the names on the bricks.
From my side of the chain link fence I listen and cherish the sound.
“It’s working.”

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