PICKENS, S.C. (WSPA) – Amid the buzz of a busy school, the new Memorial Hope Garden, created by a teacher at Pickens Elementary, is a place where everyone can take a break from the classroom.
Pickens Elementary School teacher Tiffany Hobart said she wanted “to create a peaceful space where students can meet with their mentors, calm down if they were upset, and offer a place full of learning opportunities.”
The space has a community garden, flowers, places to sit, and different habitats for animals.
“Butterfly garden, trees feeders and baths for the birds and of course the pond for fish, turtles, frogs, and lizards,” Hobart said.
To most people, the things inside the garden are beautiful elements to enjoy.
However, if you ask anyone at the school about the garden, they’ll tell you about Cameron Durham and Shakyra Young.
Cam and Shakyra, students at Pickens Elementary, died in the past few years.
Cam from injuries received in a car crash, and Shakyra from cancer.
To remember their lives and the impact they made each day, the school dedicated the memorial garden to them.
“She loved to dance. Dancing was her favorite tool,” Shakyra’s grandmother, Ernestine Wilson said. “It sends chills down my body. It’s hard. It’s hard. I know she’s up there looking down on us.”
The pond is for Cameron, who loved to fish and the butterfly garden is for Shakyra, who loved nature.
Wilson said she hopes whenever students or staff sit in the garden, they’ll think of Shakyra and Cameron.
“They’re going to remember her,” Wilson said. “They’re going to remember her laughter, they’re going to remember the fun she had. The love for people. She thought nobody did nothing wrong.”
Pickens Elementary School said they were able to build this garden through a $50,000 grant.