Plans finalized for Sara's Storybook Garden in Wausau

Published: Sep. 19, 2019 at 7:00 PM CDT
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Monk Botanical Gardens will be the eventual home to Sara's Storybook Garden, named after Sara Quirt-Sann, who was killed in the March 22, 2017 shootings.

Friends and colleagues are in the process of getting the project off the ground.

"We'll probably do this in several phases. We're actually going to start with the hobbit house," said Robyn De Vos, as she showed the design plans for the garden.

Sara's Storybook Garden will bring together a few of the things that Sara Quirt-Sann was most passionate about.

"Her love of literature. You would find her routinely, while she's waiting between cases, reading a book," De Vos said, a colleague of Quirt-Sann, and committee member. "Her love of gardening. She was actually taking classes to become a master gardener. Her main course of work was as a guardian ad litem, so she was actually an advocate for children."

The project will take about one million dollars to complete. And countless hours clearing out the brush.

"There's four main areas. Every area there will be a book box," De Vos showed on the blueprint.

"I think if she were still around and we were doing this for someone else, she'd be hands-on, right in doing it," said Pam VanOoyen, a friend of Sara's and committee member. "She loved children, she loved to help the children."

Monk Botanical Gardens offered up the space almost immediately when they were approached.

"They worked very well with us finding sites within the gardens that this could be housed in, and they were very entertaining of our ideas," said De Vos.

When this story is finished, kids, and kids at heart, can have an escape into their own storybook. Sara would have enjoyed that.

"I just think Sara, if she were standing here and watching it, i think would just be honored," VanOoyen said.

"We really wanted to put our efforts into something that would truly honor Sara. Sara's spirit," added De Vos.

Next step is fundraising that $1-million.

After her death, Sara Quirt-Sann has been honored with a Woman of the Year award, and having the court room named after her at Marathon County Courthouse.

De vos says she was told by Sara's friends and family she may have been embarrassed about those things. But this storybook garden, De Vos has no doubt Sara would be proud of this honor.