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Memorial garden for child loss vandalized in Parker, foundation says

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Posted at 4:57 PM, Nov 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-08 23:38:20-05

Editor's note: A Parker teen admitted to his involvement in the vandalism Friday afternoon, the Parker Police Department announced. Read more information here.

PARKER, Colo. — The search is on for vandals who caused serious damage to a memorial dedicated to children who have died. The Rowan Tree Foundation said someone chopped down trees in its Angel Memorial Garden.

Across a steel bridge in Parker’s McCabe Meadows Park, an angel with open arms welcomes families who have lost children of all ages.

“My sister passed away when I was in middle school from some complications,” said Vikki Feist.

That’s why Feist and her family are visiting the memorial garden.

What’s a serene spot for so many families, is now surrounded by destruction after The Rowan Tree Foundation, which oversees the memorial, said someone chopped down trees surrounding the plaza.

“These trees in particular that were cut down were ones that were dedicated by individual families, for their children,” said Corinne O’Flynn, Founder of The Rowan Tree Foundation.

O’Flynn said the foundation discovered the vandalism the morning before Thanksgiving and then came back to find more trees chopped down on Thanksgiving morning.

A report has been filed with Parker Police.

Memorial garden for child loss vandalized in Parker, foundation says

Parker Mayor Jeff Toborg was out surveying the damage Sunday and told Denver7 that this isn't the only park where vandals have cut down trees in recent weeks, but this one feels more personal.

“It’s sacred and for someone to come and commit an act of violence against not only the property but against their memory is something that we’re just not going to stand for,” said Toborg.

Toborg is working to bring in some trees just in time for the foundation's candlelight remembrance event on Saturday, December 2.

O’Flynn said she's overwhelmed by the community's support to bring the garden back to life for families connected by loss.

“I can't be happy about what happened, but I can be happy with what's happening since,” said O’Flynn

If you would like to donate to the garden's restoration, click here.

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