Covid memorial groundbreaking ceremony

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A groundbreaking ceremonial was held Wednesday greeting connected the tract of a erstwhile Goochland County play people that a Richmond non-profit plans to crook into a memorial for victims of COVID-19.

"'Gardens of Tranquility' is simply a spot wherever healing begins," said Dr. Arlene Simmons, referring to the sanction for the planned memorial. "Whether it is mental, emotional, physical, spiritual oregon educational. We privation this to beryllium a spot of bid and tranquility.

Simmons is the laminitis of Humanitarian Ambassadors of America Community Development Corp., a non-profit with 25 years successful Richmond, and said they purchased the onshore earlier this twelvemonth and was inspired to crook it into a COVID-19 memorial by children she worked with who told her astir what they experienced during COVID-19.

"They chronicled hardships related to the nonaccomplishment of housing, decease of loved ones, wellness issues, depression, hunger, and different challenges experienced due to the fact that of the COVID pandemic," Simmons told the crowd. "In the symptom of their grief these young minds decided it was not lone important, but indispensable to retrieve loved ones and an honorable and imperishable way."

Simmons said the program is to redevelop the 151-acres successful 4 phases with a $33-million budget. The COVID-19 victims volition beryllium remembered successful stone gardens and memorial walls, but Simmons said they besides mean to see memorials for radical who person passed from different wellness issues and kids mislaid to weapon violence.

"The plan volition diagnostic and volition widen to programmatic opportunities geared toward affirmative younker improvement processes," added Simmons, who said this could see things similar a par 3 play course, gardening, and hiking. "It's a situation if you've ne'er been exposed to it but it's happiness erstwhile you are exposed to it," Simmons said.

However, anyone attending Wednesday's ceremonial would person had to thrust past dozens of yards signs on the lone roadworthy starring to the tract expressing interest oregon skepticism astir the project.

CBS 6 spoke with immoderate of the homeowners who enactment up the signs and they said portion the task seems to person bully intentions, they raised concerns astir the magnitude of postulation it could bring in, the quality to support upkeep of the property, and said that they person not been included successful conversations astir projected plans.

Simmons said they did not person to person those conversations due to the fact that the spot is not a portion of the homeowner's relation and said thing they are readying to physique would beryllium extracurricular of the property's existent zoning.

"It's a agrarian area, everything is beauteous here. And truthful we don't privation thing to change, we conscionable privation to blend in," Simmons said.

However, Simmons said erstwhile they statesman designing the archetypal signifier adjacent month, they volition support the region updated connected what they bash and she said the neighbors volition person a spot astatine the table.

"We privation them to invited america and we invited them to beryllium here," Simmons said.

Simmons said they anticipation to person astatine slightest finished renovating the clubhouse and built 1 memorial plot and a partition for a ribbon-cutting ceremonial sometime successful December.

CBS 6 besides reached retired to Goochland County and asked astir the connection and received a written statement.

"County unit has met with representatives from the Humanitarian Ambassadors of America Community Development Corporation who are proposing the COVID memorial plot astatine the erstwhile Royal Virginian play course. Their representatives provided respective imaginable aboriginal uses for the site, but nary ceremonial onshore usage petition has been made and nor has zoning support been applied for oregon given. It is excessively aboriginal to accidental what whitethorn beryllium required until unit is provided further information," wrote Community Affairs Manager Paul Drumwright. "If a zoning exertion is filed, assemblage meetings and nationalist hearings are required wherever citizens tin dependable their opinions astir the request."

"Goochland County encourages each imaginable applicants and caller businesses and organizations to make an unfastened dialog and prosecute with the greater assemblage arsenic they determination guardant connected projected plans and developments," helium added.

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