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City attorney, architect join forces to create healing garden for mass shooting survivors, community

Posted at 1:22 PM, Sep 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-28 16:22:02-04

There is no doubt this is a special place. The healing garden is just that. You come here and can't help but feel a peace that soothes the pain.

Las Vegas City Attorney Brad Jerbic helped create the Las Vegas Healing Garden.

"There's an unspoken quality to this place. Almost a spiritual quality to it. People leave here better than they came," Jerbic said.

There are 58 trees here. Each representing a victim including Jerbic's good friend and former coworker 28-year-old Cameron Robinson. He left work giddy about going to the concert.

RELATED: Las Vegas city employee killed in mass shooting

"And that was the last time I saw him, just walking out as happy as he could be," Jerbic said

There are 57 other similar stories, and they are being told here through pictures, personal items that all intertwined with living branches.

In the heart of the garden, the tree of life outlined by a heart shaped planter box and tile mosaics created by loved ones.

"You have all the broken pieces symbolizing the broken hearts of everybody left behind," Jerbic said.

Some of the tiles read "I love you mom" and "Mommy I miss you."

After the shooting, landscape architect Jay Pleggenkuhle called his friend Jerbic saying if the city could find a piece of land he would build a memorial.

RELATED: Las Vegas builds memorial garden for healing in record time 

Pleggenkuhle is taking the temporary remembrance wall made of wooden pallets he built in the days after 1 October, and transforming it into permanent structures.

"That wall will have all the names of the victims," Pleggenkuhle said as he pointed to one of the two new remembrance walls

He wants visitors who look at the names and faces to be inspired to live their best life.

RELATED: Dedication set for permanent wall at Las Vegas Healing Garden

"Because all these people lost their life and they don't get a chance at it, and we are still here and we have to honor that and go live our best life," he said.

Pleggenkuhle estimates the healing garden would've cost at least $500,000 to create, but all of it came as the result of donations in time, money, labor and love.