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‘Surreal’ feeling for Children’s Memorial Garden planners as groundbreaking nears

Nearly six years after the development of the project began, Tiny Hands of Hope and Compassionate Friends will be breaking ground on the Children’s Memorial Garden in Maskwôtêh Park.

The garden was initially to serve as a memorial for families who have lost a child. However, as the years ticked by, planners and organizers say it became very evident that it wasn’t just Tiny Hands of Hope families grieving the loss of their baby, it was many families in the community.

Co-Founder Karen Gilkyson says it has been a long time waiting for families, but she is thrilled to be able to see the project nearly get over the finish line.

“It’s absolutely surreal, I’m excited for our families, for those impacted by loss to finally have a positive place they can visit,” she says.

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“To go, bring their kids, bring their families, and to be reminded how much our community really, truly cares.”

Gilkyson says with a project cost of approximately $409,000 the memorial gardens project could only have been made possible by dozens of groups, including regional municipalities, coming together to chip in both financially, and logistically. She says with construction hoping to finish up in the fall, they won’t have to wait much longer to see the fruits of their labour.

“It’s just been such an incredible, and long, experience, and I’m so thrilled to see it come to life, and really for everyone else to come to see the garden for themselves, and enjoy it with their families.”

The official groundbreaking ceremony is set to take place on May 25th at 11:15 a.m. at Maskwôtêh Park, located beside the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital.

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