WIMBERLEY, Texas - A year after the deadly flooding in Wimberley over Memorial Day weekend, residents are planning a monument for the victims who lost their lives.
Trees lie uprooted or have been swept away entirely from the Blanco River’s bank, scars from last year’s flooding.
Now one group wants to add something to the river’s edge -- a monument to the 11 people lost and to the community that rose to support its neighbors.
"There’s a very strong spirit here, and we want to honor that spirit,” said Jan Fitzhugh, president of the Wimberley Valley Arts and Cultural Alliance, which is heading up the project.
Fitzhugh said shortly after the flooding a small group came up with the idea to build a memorial space somewhere along the river bank. The plan is to have at least one acre with a garden, a sculpture garden and a monument at the center.
“It’s something that our community going forward many, many years can enjoy,” she said.
A design by sculptor J.J. Priour was chosen for the monument. It features two limestone pillars, each roughly 3 feet wide at the base, supporting a glass cutout of the riverbed. In all, the monument will be about 10 feet tall.
P. Cleve Ragan is a local artist and member of the Blanco River Monument Committee. To her, the monument represents how the city came together.
“I was so proud. And many of the volunteer organizations said they’d never seen anything like we were,” Ragan said.
While the Arts and Cultural Alliance may have a plan and a design picked out, it still needs a piece of land and it has also has only raised $15,000 of the $300,000 it estimates it will need to see the project completed.
Fitzhugh remains undaunted, saying, “We’re hopeful that it will be within the next year.”
In a city that’s seen what Wimberley has seen, sometimes hope can go a long way.
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