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Storytelling Garden being built to complement the Healing Garden

Posted at 4:15 AM, Oct 01, 2020

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — On the third anniversary of the Las Vegas mass shooting, Mayor Carolyn Goodman will read the names of the lives lost as a result of 1 October.

RELATED: Mayor Goodman plans to include 2 additional 1 October shooting victims during ceremony

The ceremony will be held at the Las Vegas Healing Garden - a place where people come to reflect and honor the victims of that night.


"It represents… this idea of hope and compassion and love," said Mauricia Baca, the executive director of Get Outdoors Nevada, a non-profit partner helping in maintaining the Healing Garden.

Days after the 1 October shooting three years ago, a resilient Las Vegas community created this refuge of hope and compassion.

"[It's] a way to change that story from the hate that was expressed that night to something much bigger about a community coming together."

Baca coordinates volunteers for the Healing Garden.

"It is an incredibly important task that I take very seriously, and our organization takes very seriously that each one of these 58 trees represents a human being that was lost last night," Baca said.

"And so many people continue to deal with repercussions of that night," Baca added. "We've had additional people who passed away who we look forward to creating a way to remember them."

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Get Outdoors Nevada helps in raising funds for things like the permanent Remembrance Wall and creating the "Healing Las Vegas" book -- where proceeds go directly to the garden.

A lot has improved since 2017 and it continues to grow.

"We have amazing volunteers," said Baca. "A couple of our most consistent ones are Sue Ann Cornwell and Eddie Schmitz. They put in hundreds of hours here. They have heart connections to this garden."

Soon there will be another place for survivors and the community to come together. The City of Las Vegas is building a "Storytelling Garden" next to the healing garden. Both will have their own fencing and area.

RELATED: New Storytelling Garden being built in downtown Las Vegas

The Storytelling Garden project began in January 2020. Here, visitors can expect to see improvements in landscaping, an urban orchard, and new lighting. A solar house donated by UNLV students will serve as a visitor center for both gardens.

"It is continuing the process," said Baca. "Healing doesn't happen overnight, especially for those who are most traumatized that night."

"It's a years-long process and so we're glad that there's a place like this where you can come and enjoy an oasis."