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Topeka Girl Scout plants handmade rose garden at statehouse to remember COVID-19 victims



TOPEKA, Kan. – A garden with a somber meaning is blooming outside the statehouse.

The gardner is Topeka West Junior, Anna Newcome, who is working towards her Girl Scout Gold Award.

Newcome’s spent Saturday planting 5,000 handmade felt roses near the front of the statehouse for her Gold Award project.

Each rose represents a Kansan who lost their life to COVID-19.

It is part of a larger national project called the Rose River Memorial.

Newcome said it is meaningful to make the installation of her major project with her loved ones involved.

“Knowing that I can be part of something bigger, knowing that I can help other people who have had a hard past year with maybe who have lost someone close to them,” she said when asked what the garden signifies to her.

“It should help a lot of people grieve since a lot of people couldn’t have funerals for those special people [because of the pandemic].

Her work even caught the attention of some state lawmakers.

“I think it’s just going to make a real impression on people,” said Representative Linda Featherston, a Democrat from Overland Park, who said she served as a Girl Scout Troop Leader for her children.

“These were people that were here and they’re gone and their families still need our support.”

The memorial can be viewed from May 3-14 at the statehouse.