Idea blooms into garden

It was an emotional start to Thursday’s school day at Kibler Elementary School as students, staff, community members and parents dedicated a Memorial Garden.

The Kibler Memorial Garden honors the memory of former Kibler students Jared and Jordan Davis, Elizabeth Crews and Nolan Carroll, friends who died in accidents in the five years since the Enumclaw elementary school added fourth- and fifth-grade students.

In the spring, members of the 2009-10 Associated Student Body decided they wanted to pay tribute to their friends. The students came up with the garden, and teachers SaraLee Rasmussen and Lori Tuttle helped them raise money through sales at its school store and community donations, along with organizing donations of design, time and labor.

The garden, with its stone rivers and native plants, includes two granite benches, one with each child’s name engraved in it. It sits off Kibler Avenue in the front of the school.

Some of those ASB members, now sixth-grade students, returned for Thursday’s event.

“We hope everyone will remember our friends,” they said.

Counselor Monica Munger opened the dedication, reading the poem “Life is like a Butterfly.”

“They were happy kids,” Munger said. “Each one of them touched our lives in a special way.

“When I think of all four of them I think of how sweet and how blessed not only were they, but how blessed we were.”

She spoke of each student’s smile.

Students performed the song “Everybody’s Got to Have a Hero.”

Rasmussen reminded students to take care of the garden.

Rasmussen thanked all those, many who were in attendance, who helped establish the garden. Parent Randy Carroll also said a thank you to all those who helped with the memorial and dedication.

The morning concluded with a procession to the garden, where there were a few tears, plenty of hugs and a lot of good memories.

“It is a respectful, peaceful memory for four of our students by the students, staff and community,” Principal Julene Miller said. “We hope it will be visited and enjoyed for many years. The garden is a perfect place to bring a book to read or to have lunch, weather permitting.”

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