Tribute Garden, Isle View Park

Spirit Rising
A fragile shoot surviving rain
Tender spirit grown strong with pain
Outlasting those who’d see her fall
She’s rising up and standing tall
Never forgetful of her roots
Always protecting of her fruits
Through darkened day and storm wrought night
Striving to keep the sky in sight
She’s pruning to ease the strife
While rebuilding the garden of her life

Sunshine glows in dewdrops shinning
Buds in bloom and spirit rising
Now dancing dressed in verdant lace
Welcoming the sun upon her face

– DS Knight

Tribute Garden is located within Isle View Park along the Niagara River and was spearheaded by the Erie County Commission on The Status of Women in Collaboration with local domestic violence service providers, advocates, and community volunteers.  It was made possible through local sponsorship and through the generous support of Erie County, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and the Buffalo Niagara Greenway Commission.  To date it is the only known public garden to formally honor the lives impacted by Domestic Violence.

Domestic Violence affects women and children in every nation, on every continent, regardless of color or economic class. It is a crime that is not often spoken of, considered taboo in many cultures, and yet it is a crime 70% of women across the globe will experience in their lifetime.

The Commission for the Status of Women’s committee for Domestic Violence had considered for quite some time a way to publicly cultivate awareness of the cause to end Domestic Violence, and to pay tribute to those whose lives are affected by it. A garden became the perfect opportunity to create a space that could at once be a loving gesture and a space for awareness and gathering alongside the healing power of water and the opportunity to embraced by the warmth of the sun.

The Tribute Garden serves as an important reminder that domestic violence exists and that the lives that have been devastated by domestic violence should be remembered with dignity, love and respect.

The monumentality of this project both in terms of discoveries made to create the design alongside an incredible group of people, but also how it impacted us personally are better presented in an oral story. We invite you to use the links below as an insight into how water, light and threshold shaped this powerful garden.