Tiny Hands of Hope and the Compassionate Friends of Grande Prairie are one step closer to opening the Blossoming Garden of Hope. Tiny Hands of Hope co-founder Karen Gilkyson says that it feels surreal that it is finally happening the closer they get to the official opening of the garden at Maskwôtêh Park.
“Every time we add one more piece to the garden, or another installation or element, it is just as exciting. Truly we are honored that so many people have supported this project and wanted to be a part of it,” Gilkyson said.
Gilkyson says that the garden will be a positive place for anyone who is impacted by the loss of an infant, a child, or an adult child to greave. She shares with those who walk the garden and find benches with phrases and words of hope, reminding them that even if they aren’t okay right now there is an entire community behind them, so they aren’t alone and will be okay. She adds that something else those who walk the garden will feel, with the healing power that nature can provide, is why 180 shrubs, 99 perennials, and 173 trees were planted in the garden.
She says that the garden is a place where people can bring down their barriers and talk about their loss. The garden is a place where she hopes people can come and not feel so alone in their grief.
“We want this place to go and gather as a community if someone else is there to make them feel okay and know that there are others who feel the same way.”
Gilkyson adds that she hopes the garden is a place where people can gather in future, to mark birthdays and anniversaries, to hold space for person who is missing.
The garden grounds will be open to the public as of November 1st, with a grand opening at the finished site set for Spring 2023.