THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — A healing garden designed to honor the victims and survivors of the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting will be dedicated Thursday, exactly a year after the tragedy that left 12 people dead.
The shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill on Nov. 7, 2018 was followed nearly immediately by evacuations forced by the devastating Woolsey Fire. Thursday’s dedication and opening is an opportunity to allow the loved ones of the victims to properly grieve, Thousand Oaks Mayor Rob McCoy said.
“As you know with the shootings across the country that have occurred, there are communities that still don’t have a memorial. We want to make sure that at the one year anniversary we were all set for that,” McCoy said. “So today’s significant cause it’s gonna give us a chance to mourn and heal.”
The elaborate healing garden was designed by the Conejo Recreation and Park District with input from the city of Thousand Oaks, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, and the families of those killed. It was designed as a physical tribute to the victims and survivors of the Borderline Bar shooting, according to Andrew Mooney, a landscape architect with Conejo Recreation and Parks District.
In honor of the 12 killed, there are 12 granite benches, 12 water jets that will flow continuously and 12 large boulders scattered throughout the garden. There are also 248 pavers with a message from each survivor of that night.
The serene garden was built in just eight weeks, with a goal of opening to the public on the one-year anniversary.
A private dedication ceremony with just the families of the 12 victims will be held at 10:30 a.m. Another semi-private ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. with the 248 survivors. Attendees of the private ceremonies will be given an oak sapling to plant as a symbol of strength and pieces of granite chipped from the memorials placed at the healing garden.
The garden will be opened to the public at 2:30 p.m. and will be followed by a memorial ceremony at 3:30 p.m.