Courtesy Quinterra Legacy Garden Group

Five years after the tragic deaths of Kaiti Perras, Josh Hunter, Jordan Segura, Lawrence Hong and Zackariah Rathwell at a university party in Brentwood, their families are coming together to build a garden that honours their memories.

The Quinterra Legacy Garden project will be the first of its kind in Calgary, featuring spaces for musicians and serving as a place to reflect and heal. Located in South Glenmore Park, the garden is a collaboration between the Quinterra Legacy Garden Group and the City of Calgary Parks Department, with design input from Bassett Associates Landscape Architecture.

“The families chose this location because it embodies the natural spirits of our children,” said Loris Facca, Quinterra Legacy Garden Group member. “The location offers both a private and peaceful place of contemplation, yet it’s also a vibrant and active area.”

The Quinterra Legacy Garden will include interactive musical and play elements, along with a 30-foot-diameter stage for a variety of performances and activities, including music, dance, theatre, spoken word, yoga, meditation and healing circles.

The number five is an important element that runs through the design of the garden, representing the five who were lost: five branches, leaves and roots in the logo for the garden; a five-pointed star on the stage; and five chairs placed in front of the five flowering trees planted in the garden.

“Our hope is that the garden will be a vibrant and intimate gathering place for public performances or quiet contemplation.” – Shannon Miller, Quinterra Legacy Garden Group

Plans for the park have been in the works for the past three years, with hopes that ground will be broken at the end of May 2019. Fundraising efforts have so far yielded $233,000 of the $750,000 goal to support the garden. Garden group members hope to raise $400,000 by the end of the spring, which would be put towards the project’s capital costs, a maintenance endowment required by the City of Calgary Parks Department, and contingency and programming costs.

“Our hope is that the garden will be a vibrant and intimate gathering place for public performances or quiet contemplation. People will leave the garden with a clear mind,” said Shannon Miller, Quinterra Legacy Garden Group member and mother of Kaiti Perras. “This isn’t just a typical garden. We’re going to have unique programming, performances and interactive activities for the public to enjoy.”

To donate, visit parksfdn.com/community-projects.