Help us Build Jessica's Park
In the fall of 2012, the Westminster, Colorado, community was shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway. As the Ridgeway family and community began the healing process, talk turned to a fitting way to honor Jessica’s unique spirit. Local citizens and the Ridgeway family expressed a desire to have Chelsea Park renamed in Jessica’s honor. The park, located in Jessica’s neighborhood, had become the site of a spontaneous memorial that captured our community’s grief.
Westminster City Council voted on Nov. 26, 2012, to rename Chelsea Park to Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park. At the same time Westminster Parks, Recreation and Libraries design staff began working with the Ridgeway family on a redesigned park that would be seen as a celebration of Jessica’s life.
The Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park will be an enduring tribute to the memory of a girl whose joyful spirit touched so many. In keeping with the family’s wishes, we hope the park becomes a place for positive reflection and memories. Current plans are for construction to begin in the spring of 2013 with dedication later in the year.
Please read a statement of support from the Ridgeway family.
Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park Funding
The Westminster Legacy Foundation, a local nonprofit that benefits the community of Westminster, is raising funds to help build Jessica’s park in partnership with the Westminster Rotary Club. Proceeds from the fundraising will go directly to the City of Westminster.
UPDATED 02/28/13: Fundraising continues for the Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park in Westminster, and the success of the effort is allowing for additional improvements as part of the project. Money raised so far has surpassed $400,000, and coupled with estimated in-kind donations of more than $100,000, the fundraising total now stands at more than $500,000.
“We’re honored and excited about the community support we’ve received so far,” said Don Tripp, director of Westminster Parks, Recreation and Libraries. “Our success means we think we can raise enough to make this the kind of project that our community wants to see.”
Current project estimates are for $538,000, which includes additions and upgrades based on input from the Ridgeway family and Witt Elementary School; consultations with engineering, construction and supply companies in the parks field; and improvements to the plaza concrete, pedestrian lighting and the existing basketball court. The total includes a 10 percent contingency for any unexpected issues that may arise during construction.
The next phase of cost assessment will be actual bids for the work, which will occur in March. The project will be built within funds that are available, so there are cost-containment options that are being pursued during the bid process.
Fundraising requests are still being actively pursued (see the list of donors here) to close the construction funding gap and to accommodate any bids that may be higher than expected. If fundraising exceeds the cost of construction, all remaining funds will be placed in an account to be used for future repairs and updates to parks improvements.
Proposed Park Design
NOTE: All designs are preliminary and dependent on funding and final design.
How You Can Help
- DONATE ONLINE: You can donate directly to the Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park Fund by visiting the GivingFirst.org website (major credit cards accepted).
- MAIL A CHECK: You can send a check made payable to: Westminster Legacy Foundation, P.O. Box 350356, Westminster, CO 80035-0356. Please note that your donation is intended for the Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park Fund.
Donations to the Westminster Legacy Foundation are tax deductible.
Corporate and group donations are welcomed. For more information, contact Laura Magnetti or Karen Layfield, at the Westminster Legacy Foundation, 303-658-2209.