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Join our effort to create a public memorial in Burlington
that honors a tragic past yet affirms the community’s commitment to the safety & well-being of Vermont’s children for generations to come.

You are invited to make a commitment to an inspiring community project that will
transform a corridor of public land within Kieslich Park in Burlington into a Memorial
& Healing Garden dedicated to the resilience of Vermont’s children. It is upon this very same land that the former residents of St. Joseph’s Orphanage – nearly 13,000
children over 120 years – once roamed and played.


"We’re the last generation... let’s create something that’s peaceful, that people can enjoy... We want to be the ones who say, ‘no more.’"
-Survivors, Voices of St. Joseph's Orphanage


This is a one-time opportunity to invest in creating a memorial pathway of unfolding natural beauty where families, children, and visitors can walk, play, and enjoy themselves, overlooking the majestic views of Lake Champlain.


This immersive outdoor experience, located between North Avenue and the Burlington Greenway, was envisioned by the last surviving generation of former orphans in collaboration with the Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront. The final design incorporates points of rest and contemplation, a sculptural arbor woven of natural elements and stone benches with a sight line to the orphanage building, wildflower plantings in flowing serpentine
shapes and glacial boulders etched with the words of former residents.


The memorial project will also emphasize that while childhood is not ideal for some, we as Vermonters have a responsibility to protect children from harm, as well as to foster their growth and well-being.

Memorial_Site Plan (1).png

Make this public memorial a reality in Burlington

The Pomerleau Family Foundation has
provided a $25,000 matching gift to
catalyze individual giving and
establish our Founding Donors. Your
generous contribution will be
matched and your commitment
memorialized in our campaign
materials to come.



Tax-deductible contributions can be made to the Parks Foundation of Burlington, a 501(c)(3) organization
and fiscal sponsor of the memorial project. Please indicate "Children of St. Joseph’s Orphanage Memorial” in the check memo line.

Mail contributions to:
Parks Foundation of Burlington
645 Pine Street, Suite B
Burlington, VT 05401


Children of St. Joseph's Orphanage Development Committee
  • Molly Gray, former Lt. Governor, State of Vermont
  • Brenda Hannon, Voices of St. Joseph Orphanage
  • Rachel Jolly, Burlington Community Justice Center
  • Andy Kolovos, Vermont Folklife Center
  • Marybeth Redmond, former State Representative, Essex
  • Sophie Sauve, Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront
  • Christy Swanson, nonprofit fundraising consultant
  • Marc Wennberg, Voices of St. Joseph Orphanage Restorative Inquiry
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