“Plant It Up” Project Benefits the Parents of Murdered Children’s Memorial Garden

Every day, Sergeant Terry Cochran’s assignment as Courts Sergeant for the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office leads him past the Parents of Murdered Children‘s Memorial Garden on the Justice Center property. As most court employees do, Sgt. Cochran frequently pauses at the garden to reflect on the victims that the plaques within represent, as well as the family and friends who miss their loved one.

Every year, Sgt. Cochran plans a community service project with his family. Observing the park would benefit from some care, he mentioned the cause to several other Justice Center employees and a group of volunteers quickly organized for the project.

A view of the garden from the employee walkway, after the project.

As word of the project spread, local businesses signed up to provide the needed supplies. Volunteers continued signing up. The interest to help spread through the courthouse, growing out of love and respect for the victims and their families.

On November 10, the group gathered at the memorial to replenish mulch, plant over 150 new plants, and make small improvements to brighten the area.

“The goal is to make a small difference in the community that we are grateful to live in,” stated Sgt. Cochran. “Projects like this reflect that Charlotte County is a community where residents care for one another.”

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Lowe’s Port Charlotte and Powell’s Nursery in Punta Gorda for their support of this project.

Parents of Murdered Children is a national organization providing a network of support groups that provide on-going emotional support, education, prevention, advocacy and awareness to survivors of homicide victims with a mission to create a world free of murder. The organization in Southwest Florida holds monthly meetings for their members, offers support to families who need it, and provides a space to place a plaque of the name of a murdered family member in the memorial garden at the Charlotte County Justice Center. 

before, after
Views of the garden before and after the volunteers completed their work. 

The garden is located at the Charlotte County Justice Center, 350 E Marion Ave, Punta Gorda, FL 33950.


Katie Heck
Public Information Officer
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office


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