News Local/State

Memorial Garden In Champaign Will Honor Victims & Survivors Of Gun Violence

douglass park in champaign

Provided by Lauren Quinn/Moms Demand Action Illinois

A new memorial garden at Douglass Park in Champaign will honor victims and survivors of gun violence.

The garden is a joint effort between the Champaign Park District and the local chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, a group that advocates for stricter gun laws. 

Urbana resident Janice Walker, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action, said the idea came about at this year’s “Wear Orange” event at Douglass Park.

Walker said her brother was murdered in 2010, so her work on this garden is personal.

“It’s just something that you’ll never kind of get over,” she said. “But you always want to remember the beauty of their lives, not how their lives ended, but the impact that their lives had while they were here.”

Walker said she hopes the garden will be a place for others in Champaign-Urbana who’ve lost loved ones to gun violence “to be able to just come someplace and be grateful and see the beauty of a garden.”

She said the garden is by no means a remedy to the problem of “senseless violence” in our community, but instead is “a way to memorialize and remember the lives that are no longer here.”

A boulder with a memorial plaque will be installed at the site. Walker said she expects the project will be completed by the end of October.

Follow Christine on Twitter: @CTHerman