Work continues on a park memorial for slain Davis couple John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves, with nearly $30,000 being raised for the project over the past year, organizers say.
The Warm Remembrance Family Play Area at Redwood Park is on schedule to open before the start of the 2014-15 school year, according to project spokeswoman Beth Gabor. The money raised to date will help fund the following features:
* A smaller version of the original Redwood Park Egg;
* An interpretive sign telling Sabrina and John’s story and acknowledging project contributors; and
* At least one bench on a concrete pad with a memorial plaque.
Additionally, the city has been setting aside funds to replace the existing play structure designed for 5- to 12-year-olds and to install a new fibar playground surface, Gabor said. Fibar is engineered wood fibers that knit together to form a surface soft enough to cushion falls, yet firm enough for wheelchairs.
Riggins and Gonsalves, both 18-year-old UC Davis students and city parks workers, were kidnapped and killed just before Christmas 1980 after ushering a performance of the “Davis Children’s Nutcracker.” Their killer was sent to California’s death row earlier this year.
Organizers will continue to collect donations through the end of this year with hopes of funding additional amenities such as new decorative trash and recycling containers, bicycle racks and another bench. Other possible visions include:
* An outdoor fitness station next to the play area for parents to exercise while watching their children;
* An eternal flame LED light flickering from the playground at night in memory of John and Sabrina; and
* A mural on the building adjacent to the play area.
Once fundraising is complete and design concepts are in place, public input will be sought on the final design. In the meantime, donations, which are tax-deductible, will be collected through the end of this year.
To donate visit: http://city-managers-office.cityofdavis.org/warm-remembrance-project or call Gabor at 530-756-8119.