COLUMBUS, Ohio –
welcomed Hope Garden as its newest memorial during a dedication event Oct. 2 kicking off Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Hope Garden is a living memorial to those who have lost their lives to abuse and a symbol of the resilience of survivors.
"The garden’s dedicated to the victims and survivors of domestic violence and child abuse,” Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Family Advocacy Program Manager Michiel DeVito said. “We invite visitors to stop and reflect on the hope that someday domestic and child abuse will be eliminated.”
The garden consists of 12 trees - six Whitespire Birch and six Cumulus Serviceberry - along with a bench dedicated in memory of lives lost because of abuse.
“[Installation Operations] will continue to add to the garden with local foliage throughout the year during recognition events,” DeVito said.
Each of the initial 12 trees represent an individual from the MWR 2018 Standing Witness Exhibit that was established to increase awareness of domestic violence. Displays are placed throughout the installation and associates can go online to the MWR FAP website to learn the stories from each exhibit.
Standing Witness is a MWR FAP initiative that promotes awareness and provides education to help support an end to domestic violence through exhibits. The initiative started last year at the Defense Supply Center Columbus as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month campaign.
The 12 trees are native to Ohio and replaced an invasive species contributing to the destruction of the native habitat.
As part of an extension project, Installation Operations plans to eliminate all invasive Pear Trees and replace them with native trees.