The Transgender Memorial Garden of St. Louis is the project of the Metro Trans Umbrella Group of St. Louis. It is the second of its kind in the world (the first is in Manchester, England) and the first in the United States.
Redbud trees form a line along the edge of the garden facing Vandeventer. Hackberry trees are planted in a grid throughout the lot. Native Missouri wildflowers and plants make up the butterfly garden at the tip.
Each element of the garden was designed with functionality, beauty and symbolism in mind. Click on the photos and read the captions for more information.
The garden lot contains rubble from destroyed buildings. It is a difficult space, but volunteers have chipped away at it to plant something beautiful.
The sign was hand crafted by Jarek Steele in October 2015
Within the Jewish faith, it is customary to leave a small stone on the grave. Although the custom of placing on a grave probably draws upon pagan customs, the stones also symbolize the permanence of memory. Placing a stone on the grave serves as a sign to others that someone has visited the grave. It also enables visitors to partake in the mitzvah tradition of commemorating the burial and the deceased. Stones are fitting symbols of the lasting presence of the deceased’s life and memory. This bowl was placed here as a receptacle for stones visitors to our garden would like to leave to honor our community. Please leave a stone here to mark your visit.
The butterfly garden is planted with native Missouri plants. It is designed to attract butterflies and bees.
“Pride Rock” was created by volunteers on Planting Day. from rock we chiseled out of the ground just beneath the surface. It’s partially about lgbt pride, and partially a Lion King joke. The beads you see in the photo were leftover from the Metro Trans Umbrella Group and QTPOC (Queer Trans People of Color) entry into the 2015 Pride Parade.
The path curves around in an uphill journey from the entrance. Once all of the trees are fully grown, visitors won’t be able to see the end of the path. It ends in a community circle. The symbolism is an uncertain uphill journey ending in community and peace.
Boom Magazine donated the bench near the community circle.
Cindy Betz donated the bench near the fence.
The fence is the site of community art projects to beautify the space
The first two beds we plan to plant with vegetables. We hope the surrounding neighborhood as well as volunteers will be able to enjoy food from it.