On Saturday, October 5, 2012, tragedy struck Westminster. 10-year old Jessica Ridgeway disappeared, last seen on her way to school that morning. She was later found and a local teen confessed to her murder. This disturbing and senseless act of violence rocked Westminster to its core.
The community rallied around Jessica’s family and decided to dedicate the park near Jessica’s home to her memory. She enjoyed playing on her scooter, with her dog and friends at this park, and now the park serves as a place for friends and families to gather and remember the way that Jessica embraced life, full of fun and joy.
Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park is a symbol of her spirit and community healing, and represents the first time that the City of Westminster and the community collaborated in every way to make the park a reality. Funds were raised by the Foundation to create a place that was reflective of Jessica’s playful spirit with many custom designs, including:
- Jessica’s favorite ride: a 40-foot custom track ride
- Knock-knock jokes (again, a favorite of Jessica’s) that came from her 5th-grade classmates
- A custom-designed ribbon swing set
- Kinetic art
The park, located at 10765 Moore Street (Westminster, CO 80021) also features many elements in the color purple, Jessica’s favorite color. In addition to fundraising within the community, dozens of volunteers helped build and install play equipment as well as worked on landscaping within the park. Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park was dedicated on October 5, 2013, one year after her disappearance.