Families in Maple Grove will be able to stroll through a newly renovated and expanded park and trail area. The Maple Grove Arboretum, 9400 Fernbrook Lane N., is home to the Angel of Hope statue in the Angel of Hope Garden.

The statue has been a place for families that have suffered the loss of a child and was donated by a grieving grandmother, Rosemaire Rosengren, more than 15 years ago. Rosengren donated the angel in memory of her grandson Andrew. She wanted to leave a memorial where mourning parents and families could find a place of solace. This angel was dedicated May 6, 2001.    

The Friends of the Angel volunteer group was founded in 2006 to support the Maple Grove Angel of Hope garden. This group provides hope, encouragement and fellowship to the entire community. The Friends of the Angel is dedicated to help others keep the memory of their loved ones alive.

ANGEL OF HOPE GARDEN

The Maple Grove Parks and Recreation Department approved expansion plans in spring 2017 for the Angel of Hope Garden after the Friends of Angel in Maple Grove noticed they were running out of space for future brick pavers. The pavers are another way for families to remember those loved one that have died.

The Parks and Recreation Department and the Friends of the Angel worked together to bring “this much-needed expansion to our community.”

The expansion project is finally completed.

“The Friends of the Angel group is excited about sharing the recent beautiful garden expansion with the community,” Sarah Kerbeshian, Vice President of the Friends of the Angel, said. “We feel that visitors to the Angel of Hope will discover new spaces for those quiet moments of reflection. There are new benches, walking paths, and a tranquil water feature surrounding the amazing Angel of Hope sculpture.”

The Friends of the Angel will be celebrating the newly renovated Angel of Hope Garden on May 5 with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Kerbeshian said, “We anticipate local officials to be in attendance as well as members of the city of Maple Grove Parks and Recreation Department.”

The expansion has added another 1,500 more pavers to the area. This also increases the area for people to gather, allowing 1,000 more people in the area.

There are benches under arbor structures. A retaining/seat wall has been added around the original paver plaza area. Donors will also be recognized on a kiosk.

“We have committed to raising $75,000 toward the costs of the garden expansion project,” Kerbeshian said. “We will be presenting a check for $10,000 that we have raised at the ceremony. Proceeds from the Walk to Remember will also go toward that goal as well.”

WALK TO REMEMBER

The Eighth Annual Walk to Remember event is Saturday, May 5, at the Maple Grove Arboretum. The Friends of the Angel invite the public to remember their loved ones by participating in the annual walk.

Registration and check-in begins at 9 a.m. There will be a ribbon cutting and rededication ceremony for the park’s expansion prior to the Remembrance Gathering.

There will be a Remembrance Gathering at 10 a.m. at the Angel of Hope garden. The walk begins at 10:30 a.m.

Participants will walk 4.5 miles around Rice Lake. There will be photo remembrance signs displayed. Families are given the opportunity to sponsor a sign of their loved one which will be placed along the walking trails and then brought back to the park after the walk for them to take home with them.

There are many other things going on during this event, including a DJ playing inspirational music, children’s craft table, face painting and a box lunch.

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to noon. The event concludes at 2 p.m.

Registration is $25 and includes a T-shirt and a boxed lunch. Same day registration is $30 and T-shirt and lunch are not guaranteed. Register online at www.friendsoftheangel.org.

The walk is limited to 350 participants, so early registration is encouraged. People are asked to leave pets at home.

The proceeds from the Walk to Remember pay for the festivities and expenses for the day of the walk. Leftover monies will be used to pay for future projects at the Angel of Hope, such as more lighting, new signage, garden enhancements and a tribute section on the Friend group’s website for families to share their loved one’s story.

The Friends of the Angel is also creating a scholarship fund for those who need assistance in purchasing a memorial brick.

DONATIONS/PAVERS

The Friends of the Angel is always accepting donations to pay for the project.

People interested can purchase and engrave a brick paver to honor their loved one for $125. There are also opportunities to sponsor a bench, lighting, water feature or arbor feature.

A donor recognition panel will engrave the donor’s name into it. Prices range from $1,000 and up.

Donations are tax deductible.

To donate or for more information, visit www.friendsoftheangel.org or email info@friendsoftheangel.org.

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