|The Memory Garden site at The City of Gainesville's|
Cofrin Nature Park
The Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden
The Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden in Cofrin Nature Park is intended as a place of comfort, meditation and healing for those who have lost a loved one through suicide, though anyone can take in the beauty, comfort, healing and reflection offered by the garden. The gardens spaces provide private areas for individual use, an area for small groups, a labyrinth for private meditation and a Remembrance area for reflection.
The Cofrin Nature Park trail takes you to the foot path into the SOS Memory Garden. This path wanders through the garden; from a flowering meadow and trellis planted to attract butterflies and hummingbirds with private seating areas. The foot path continues up to the labyrinth which can be walked in thought and contemplation. Past the labyrinth is the Remembrance area where life-sized basalt columns stand; reflections of ourselves and loved ones lost. Walk amongst the columns or sit and reflect upon their meaning and their beauty. Finally, as the path winds back towards the front of the garden, a bench sits under a large spreading canopy of trees where one can sit quietly and hear the sounds of the nearby creek and trickling water.
The purpose of this garden is to provide solace and peace to those who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide or to those experiencing any type of loss but it is our hope that the community will embrace and enjoy this wonderful space.
Anyone wishing to donate their time and/or skills to the creation and/or maintenance of the SOS Memory Garden should contact:
Judy Broward, Memory Garden Coordinator
Monetary donations can be made online via our PayPal donation site, or mailed directly to:
Friends of the Crisis Center
P.O. Box 357284
Gainesville, FL 32635-7284
(Please note in Memo that funds are for the SOS Memory Garden)
Thank you for your support!
This amazing journey...
These last months of building the Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden has been an amazing and wonderful journey. On Saturday, July 27th a fabulous team of volunteers (THANKS to all of YOU!) came together and worked tirelessly all morning to help our artist, Greg Johnson, install the basalt columns in the Remembrance area of the garden. The work was hot, sweaty, heavy and dirty yet so incredibly gratifying. When the day was finished, we all stood back and gazed at the beauty of the site and were in awe of the personal meaning each of us found and saw in the columns and the space.
Since July, we've brought in the stone for the pathways and placed the basalt seating as well. Weeding and planting continue. The next phase calls for the creation of the pathways within the garden itself, more tree, shrub and wildflower planting as well as construction of the trellis. As you can see, there is much still to do.
If you have the opportunity - stop by Cofrin Nature Park. Walk the labyrinth, touch the columns, sit on the basalts seats and take in the beauty of the site. Watch the butterflies; listen to the creek. Picture what the Garden will look like with additional trees, shrubs and flowers. Take a deep breath and marvel at what a handful of incredibly dedicated volunteers have done!