Media Release

Life-Sized Artwork to be Installed at SOS Memory Garden

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 11:45 AM
Survivors of Suicide Garden

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Crisis Center is pleased to announce that life-sized basalt columns will be installed at the Survivors of Suicide (SOS) Memory Garden in the City of Gainesville's Cofrin Nature Park (4810 NW 8th Ave, Gainesville) on Saturday, July 27, 2013, from 8 a.m. to noon.  These columns are to be one of the focal points of the Memory Garden dedicated to the memory of those who have committed suicide and their families.

The red bluff basalt columns offer local artist Greg Johnson's representation of the six individuals who are directly affected by each suicide.  The basalt, mined and brought to Gainesville from Washington State, collectively weighs over eight thousand pounds with the tallest structure standing at approximately six feet.

Johnson polished, cut and chiseled portions of the stone to help create his vision, of which he says, “The design of the sculptural element for the Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden is based on the concept of six standing basalt columns grouped around a seventh fallen, chthonic column. The six standing columns will be divided to symbolically represent a family, a couple, and a lone survivor.”  Johnson goes on to say of his artwork, “What results is an abstracted form that is specific but not personal; figurative in a stylized, nonliteral way.”

Alachua County Crisis Center Director Marshall Knudson said, “Dedicated to those who have lost a loved one to suicide, The SOS Memory Garden at Cofrin Nature Park is intended as a place of comfort, meditation and healing.”  He continued, “Whether a person has lost a loved one to suicide, is experiencing another type of loss, or is looking for a peaceful spot outdoors, they can take in the beauty, comfort and reflection offered by the garden. In addition to the remembrance area where the columns will be installed, the garden provides private areas and a labyrinth for walking meditation.”

The SOS Memory Garden is scheduled to be completed this November.  The Friends of the Crisis Center are responsible for building the garden, and are looking for individuals or groups wishing to donate their time and/or skill to the creation and/or maintenance of the garden.

Visit the Friends of the Crisis Center website.

For more information, contact Marshall Knudson at 352-264-3792 or  or Project Coordinator, Judy Broward at


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).