Healing Garden

April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, is full of activities that focus on stopping child abuse. On April 7, First Saturday in Downtown Frederick, we will launch the observance of this special month in the Healing Garden at Bonita Maas Park, 7 West Second Street, next to Magoo’s.

Bonita Maas Park park is home to the Healing Garden designed to remember Frederick County children who have died as a result of child abuse. After the 2013 death of three young children within a six month period at the hands of caregivers, local officials involved in these cases sought a way to remember these precious children. They asked our organization to help find a place in Frederick in which to honor their memory. Nearly 18-months later, County and City officials gathered to dedicate the Healing Garden, a quiet space to remember and reflect upon the young lives lost in Frederick County to child abuse and to begin the healing process for the survivors and the professionals working these horrific cases.

Although the park features landscaped gardens, benches and small tables, and a water fountain, the centerpiece of the Healing Garden is the one-of-a-kind Whispering Bench, designed by a well-known sculptor, Jim Gallluci. The bench is adorned with pinwheels, the nationally-recognized symbol of a happy and healthy childhood.  There are two sound tubes — one at each end of the bench — that visitors can use to communicate with one another. While playful and fun to test out, the tubes serve a greater purpose, reminding us that children need to be heard, even when they whisper, to prevent abuse and neglect.

Between 3 pm and 6 pm on April 7, 2018, children visiting the park will get to “plant” a blue pinwheel in the Pinwheels for Prevention Garden, as well as take one home to plant. Bubbles will be distributed to children to take home and enjoy. Members of the Friends of the CAC will be on hand to explain the significance of the garden, talk about other planned events during the month, and answer questions.

Driving Directions to the Healing Garden

From Route 15, take Rosemont Avenue exit. Follow West Second Street to North Bentz Street. Turn left onto Bentz Street, then turn left onto West Church Street. Take a left onto North Market Street for one block. Then turn left onto West Second Street.  Park will be on the right after Magoo’s Restaurant. There is metered street parking.