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The goal of The Memorial Sculpture Garden For Missing Children
project aims to recognize all missing, abused, or neglected children
in our society in honor of Caylee. Her story with its national
tremendous impact will continue to live on in the local community
as well as in the hearts of people all over the world. With visitors
paying their respect at the site, the objective is to preserve
the area in a way that highlights the innocence and precious
nature of the site and all of the children while creating an
environment promoting closure, peace, and spiritual recovery.
The Memorial will create an organized solution to manage the
thousands of stuffed animals, flowers, and notes left on site.
A sequence of emotional environments that lead visitors to the
area where Caylee was discovered will create awareness of over
300 missing children in Florida. This Memorial Project will act
as a voice for all of these children. Caylee's story in particular
has caught the attention and emotion of many worldwide. The design
serves as an integral tool to capture that attention and emotion
and redirect it in order to move forward in a positive manner
for all children left without a voice.
DESIGN: It was
the understanding that Caylee's favorite character was Winnie
the Pooh. Inspiration for the design was found in the context
of the Winnie the Pooh story. Winnie the Pooh and Christopher
Robin would adventure in a wooded area of London called Ashdown
Forest, known as "Hundred Aker Woods". Hundred Aker
Woods is the fictional land inhabited by Winnie the Pooh and
his friends in the series of children's stories, Winnie the Pooh,
written by author A. A. Milne. The young boy Christopher Robin
accompanies Pooh and his friends on regular visits to the wooded
area during many make-believe adventures. During these adventures
places such as Poohsticks Bridge, Big Stones and Rox And Stream
and Six Pine Trees were visited. The natural amenities of the
memorial site created an opportunity to mimic and integrate the
sequence of environmental spaces as seen in the woods of Winnie
visitors will be enter the memorial walkway. The walkway contains
a personalized brick plaza and concrete wall to provide a safe
barrier between visitors and existing wetland. It allows for
visitors to leave stuffed animals and flowers onto a rail system
along a wall that protects these gifts from floodwaters. The
goal is to work with local children's organizations and churches
to collect the keepsakes and deliver them to children in need.
walkway and wall guide people to the memorial garden and across
"Poohsticks Bridge". The bridge and memorial boardwalk
serve as public message board. It is composed of metal panels
for visitors to place private notes attached by magnets, cubbyholes
for stuff animals and punched holes for flowers. Within the collage
of personal displays of affection are circular glass disks that
contain names of over 300 missing children in Florida. With the
prevalence of social media, the discs contain interactive quick
response bar codes (QR Codes) that allow visitors to acquire
information on the missing child via smart phone and link to
a National Database for Missing and Exploited Children. These
discs are illuminated at night as a symbol for when neighborhood
porch lights are left on as a beacon for children to come home.
When a child returns home their light will turn off.
the boardwalk visitors arrive at the center platform of six pines
trees, a common gathering spot for Winnie the Pooh and friends.
The center of the platform is cut out at the location of where
Caylee was discovered and preserved as a reflection pool and
water wall. A 31' diameter ring (representing days missing) provides
a barrier from the reflection pool and is composed of glass.
The glass ring is suspended in the air by cables and illuminated
at night to create the illusion from a distance of a halo floating
in the woods. A segment of the path in front of the halo is only
36" wide allowing for visitors to circulate around the halo
one at a time. Artificial turf surrounds the halo and provides
an area for a small group to pay tribute to Caylee, view, and
recognize that there is hope left for other missing children.
The entire project is composed of 1042 planks of wood symbolizing
the number of days Caylee was alive and 340 glass disks representing
the number of other missing children that need our help finding
their way home.