By: Jen Russon
The one year marking the horrific school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has come and gone, yet there still remains a profound sense of loss and need to heal. To help those who were wounded heal, members of the community garden and food forest of Coral Springs are planning a special event.
On March 2, they are creating a memorial healing project by building a labyrinth activity for the community to take part in.
Judy Gulko, psychologist and garden organizer described labyrinths as an ancient pattern, with a single meandering path weaving back and forth, to the center, and then back out. For millennia, people have walked labyrinths seeking meditation, grounding, inspiration and healing.
Volunteers assisting her in this community art project said it will be constructed next to the 17 bamboo trees planted last November at a memorial service honoring those killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
The bamboo memorial, is dedicated to Helena Freja Ramsay, a former member of the community garden. Ramsay loved to grow fruits and vegetables there. Her mother, Anne and brother Ellis, are still active members.
The Ramsays said everyone is welcome to take part in building the meditative path – whether they continue to struggle with last year’s tragedy, or simply want to help create a peaceful retreat.
“I hope to see a lot of people help us build the labyrinth and walkway. I want it to honor the wounded as well as the ones we lost,” said Anne.
She explained her family was overwhelmed by everything “going on” during the one-year anniversary, and that, with so many events planned across Parkland and Coral Springs, her group decided to wait until March to create the public art project.
Around seven volunteers, including Anne, have been meeting weekly for several months planning the project. They flip through catalogues illustrating possible coverings for the labyrinth floor, make lists of art and other supplies that will be needed, and discuss improvements being made to Helena Ramsay’s garden memorial.
They laugh, cry and drink a lot of herbal tea at Barnes & Noble. So far, it looks like the puzzle of how to make a labyrinth has been solved, and that things are coming together. A local landscaper has laid the groundwork; but the next step requires community involvement. People will be placing bricks, soil and mulch to build the labyrinth, and painting and writing on the pavers that will constitute the walkway.
The free, outdoor event is tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3. High school students can earn service hours for volunteering. Contact email@example.com.
Art supplies, pavers and light refreshments will be provided.
The community garden is located at 2915 Sportsplex Drive in Coral Springs.
Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.