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August 21, 2019

New Memorial Orchard Pays Tribute to Local Family

World Harvest Ministries is a place of worship founded by Pastor Terry Glenn, located in Kansas City’s Ivanhoe/Linwood neighborhood. With deep roots in their community, they wanted to give back to a large family whose home had burned down during the night near their headquarters. The Giving Grove asked our team to design a memorial garden as a tribute to the two, young twins, who didn’t survive the fire. 

“This isn’t our first project with The Giving Grove, because we find the work to be very satisfying. The organization helps neighborhoods and communities with vacant, overgrown or empty lots and transforms them for residents who have little to no access to fresh foods. By partnering with neighborhood champions, the Giving Grove changes lives by engaging with residents and offering education on where healthy foods come from, while also sharing how to cultivate and prepare them. Our design services help them best plan vacant spaces to include not only trees and shrubs, but also places for neighbors to meet, help, heal and play. It feels really good to be able to offer so much for just a little bit of our time and talents,” said Carisa McMullen, Principal, Landworks Studio.

On this particular project, we started by meeting with Pastor Terry and other key neighborhood stakeholders. We listened to their ideas about how to add value to their neighborhood and walked the site. Then, we provided design direction and inspiration to rally the volunteers who will see this project through to completion. The stakeholders identified these priorities: 

  1. Be a community gathering place that provides fresh produce.  
  2. Offer a safe place for kids and families to spend time.  
  3. Be a beautiful addition to the neighborhood.  
  4. Honor the twins lost in the fire.  

The final design includes fruit trees and shrubs to provide fresh fruit for the surrounding area. It also has seating, ornamental plantings, an amphitheater for community gatherings and performances, a playground and community garden. Most poignantly, it includes two areas of reflection that are named after the children who were lost in the fire – Memphis Plaza and Memoree Lane. 

Phase 1 and a portion of Phase 2 are currently in place. The trees were installed in early May. Members of the family came back for the first time, since the house fire, to help plant the trees. Then in June, World Harvest added approximately 200 feet of blackberries. This portion of the project was accomplished with the help of H&R Block, who donated a hundred beds to Kansas City Community Gardens, of which World Harvest is a benefactor. Over time, the organization plans to continue to bring the design to life. We look forward to following and sharing their progress.