Neurological Kids Foundation Memorial

Compiled by: Zahra Merali

“Remember them, please do not forget and speak their name,” a heartbroken, bereaved parent whispers with tears in their eyes. 

After years of planning and preparation, a heartfelt and meaningful partnership was forged between the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens (UABG), the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and Hammer & Forge who specialize in creating unique handcrafted Artistic Architectural Ironwork.

The Neurological Kids Foundation provided the endowment for the memorial and the UABG provided the location.  Every detail of the memorial was inspired by immense love and remembrance to honor these children.

Designed and built by creative designer Kyle Walton; of Hammer and Forge, a sculpture will feature the names of each child who has gained their wings, and will be crafted into a flowing set of vines with leaves interconnected throughout.  The slightly chaotic entwined vines will be built on a series of curved panels, which will allow for extensions over time.  A chronological roll out of the leaf installation will allow families and visitors to locate their loved ones by the date of the leaf placement without having to include last names if desired. 

Future additions could include sheaves of wheat bundled and tied, which are a common symbol of remembrance; copper leaves braded onto the vines; and insects installed in subtle places to add a bit of natural whimsy and discovery in keeping with the frogs and fish in the Aga Khan Garden water features.

Located in the Imrie picnic area just off the Northeast side of Parking Lot A, the landscape installation for the memorial was designed and built by Kevin Napura of Salisbury Greenhouses, and will include a covered seating area.

The official ground breaking for this Memorial Garden took place on October 16, 2019, with a dedication ceremony planned for the spring of 2021.

“We honour you. We remember you.”

Sources:

Dr. Lee Foote – Director UABG 2011-2020

Carl Charest – General Manager UABG

Neurosurgery Kids Fund – Facebook

Benjamin Schmidt – Financial & HR Administrator UABG