Community garden planned at Seymour Lake Park as public memorial for Oxford School shooting victims

What’s happening: The four teenagers murdered during the Oxford School shooting will be memorialized with a community garden at Seymour Lake Park in Oxford. Michigan’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative will help organizers raise the money necessary to build Hana’s Garden, a public memorial and park.

What it is: Hana’s Garden is being organized by Steve St. Juliana, the father of Hana St. Juliana, one of four Oxford High School students murdered during a mass shooting in November 2021. The memorial will honor Hana along with the three other students killed that day: Tate Myre, Madisyn Baldwin, and Justin Shilling.

What’s planned: St. Juliana has partnered with the Four County Community Fund to help make Hana’s Garden a reality, incorporating the design concept of “four” throughout the park to honor and remember those four young lives. Hana’s Garden will feature perennials, native flowers, bushes, trees, and a water feature in a dedicated space at Seymour Lake Park. A metal sculpture “tree” will be covered in Wisteria in tribute.

How they’re doing it: The Hana’s Garden project has been accepted into the state’s placemaking initiative Public Spaces Community Places, a joint effort from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity. As part of the initiative, organizers have launched a $50,000 crowdfunding campaign on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform. Should they successfully reach their goal by Friday, June 21, the MEDC will contribute a $50,000 matching grant to the project.

“This Public Spaces Community Places matching grant will bring us that much closer to realizing our vision for Hana’s Garden by enabling us to fill in the missing pieces to bring the garden to completion," says Steve St. Juliana.

Learn more about Hana’s Garden on Patronicity.

What they’re saying: ”Placemaking is all about creating space for a community to come together, and Hana’s Garden will do just that,” says Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League. “This park has a deep connection for the members of the Oxford community. It is a beautiful way to honor the four students and a way to help bring the community together as they continue to heal.”

Learn more about Hana's Garden at Hana's Memorial Fund online.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.