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Children’s memorial park closer to finding home

A spot has been proposed for a new children’s memorial park. Tiny Hands of Hope President Karen Gilkyson says their society spearheaded the initiative, but the garden would be for the whole community.

“We did check out another site, but we couldn’t have a playground there. One of the big things we wanted was a playground. Many of us have young children. Also, if someone lost a child 40 to 50 years ago, their kids have grown and they have grand kids.”

The space for the memorial garden is proposed for Maskwôtêh Park across the creek from the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital. It opened in 2015 in part to celebrate 100 years of the city.

Gilkyson explains that this spot is a great alternative to original plans because the playground with dinosaur bones is already there. It went through at a city committee meeting, but it still has to go through at a future city council meeting.

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“I was very emotional when it was approved because it is so exciting. We know what this will mean to our community. We know what this will mean to our families. For our living children, it will be a space for them and it will be a space for the parents.”

Parks Manager Lindsey Juniper explains that there are future plans for a connecting walking bridge to go from the new hospital to the park as well.

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