On the morning of Friday, October 5, 2012, tragedy struck Westminster as 10-year old Jessica Ridgeway disappeared - last seen on her way to school. Jessica’s body was later found, and a local teen confessed to the murder. This disturbing and senseless act of violence rocked Westminster and Colorado to its core.
The community rallied around Jessica’s family with support, love, prayers, meals and whatever else they needed to begin their healing journey. Because of her big heart and vibrant spirit, the City of Westminster in partnership with Jessica’s family, friends and community, decided to honor Jessica’s memory by dedicating the park near her home as the Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park.
In order to make the park special and commemorative of Jessica, her favorite color, purple, was splashed lovingly and generously throughout the space. Jessica enjoyed going to the park to ride her scooter, to walk her dog, play with friends and practice cheerleading. Now, the park serves as a place for friends and families to gather and remember the way that Jessica embraced life - full of exuberant fun and joy!!
Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park is an enduring memorial tof her lively spirit as well as a peaceful space for healing. This special outdoor area represents the first time that the City of Westminster and the community collaborated in every way to make the park a reality and a true tribute to who young Jessica was.. Funds were raised by the Westminster Legacy Foundation to ensure this place was genuinely reflective of Jessica’s playful spirit! In addition to the distinctive, “Jessica” details that were incorporated into the park, like the color purple and animated depictions of butterflies, there were other elements included in the park to make it even more distinctively Jessia. Through the generous contributions from the community, WLF was able to support the following park amenities:
- A 40-foot custom track ride, Jessica’s favorite type of ride
- Imprinted knock-knock jokes (again, a favorite of Jessica’s) that came from her 5th-grade classmates
- A custom-designed ribbon swing set
- Kinetic art is any art medium that depends on motion for its visual, creative effect.
The park, located at 10765 Moore Street in Westminster, also features many components colored in purple. In addition to monetary contributions from the community, dozens of volunteers helped build and install new play equipment and work on the landscapes within the park. Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park was dedicated on October 5, 2013, one year after her disappearance. Each year, hundreds of children and adults use the park for fun, recreation, meditation and remembering Jessica.