October 1, 2017
On October 1, 2017, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history took place on Las Vegas strip at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Fifty-eight people lost their lives that night, over 500 were physically injured, and for thousands more the wounds were psychological having to experience such a horrific night.
The next morning, the Las Vegas Valley was in a state of bewilderment. Two men, Jay Pleggenkuhle and Daniel Perez (co-owners of Stonerose Landscapes) were among those left with a heavy heart. That morning over a cup of coffee they began to explore what they could do to begin the healing process of the valley; there on a napkin they sketched what would later become the LV Community Healing Garden.
It took only four days to go from napkin to reality after the word got out that the City of Las Vegas provided the land at 1015 S. Casino Center Blvd. for the Garden. Community members came out by the hundreds to dig, plant, lay pavers, and to do anything else that was needed. On October 6, 2017, the LV Community Healing Garden was dedicated and opened to the public.
The garden consists of 58 trees, one for each victim, surrounding a beautiful giant oak tree - dubbed the Tree of Life - that was donated by Siegfried & Roy. The tree of life sits in a heart shaped planter adorned with tiles made by victim’s families, survivors, and community members. The original Remembrance Wall was erected from pallets serving as a place for visitors to place photos and tokens of remembrance of those lost. The garden and trees quickly came to life with color as visitors brought painted rocks, ornaments, and words of encouragement, loss and strength, and placed them on and around the trees.
The garden, now managed and cared for by Get Outdoors Nevada and the LV Community Healing Garden Committee, continues to grow and thrive. Visitors come daily to see the beauty of the LV Community Healing Garden. Family members lovingly decorate the trees of their loved ones. Survivors find a place of comfort, fellowship, and healing. Although created out of tragedy, the LV Community Healing Garden has become a beacon of hope for so many in the valley and beyond.