LAYTON -- Four young mothers, each with a baby less than a year old, found a comfortable spot to settle down on a blanket at midday Monday to play with their babies and other children at Chelsie Meadows Park.
They chose a colorful spot next to some newly planted pansies, shrubs and Kwanzan flowering cherry trees. The older children ate turkey sandwiches while seated on a new bench inside the small grove of pink, yellow and white.
"It's beautiful," said Jaime Webb, of West Point. "I think it's a great idea."
But the spot they chose was much more than a place where city workers had arranged flowers and vegetation in a half-circle. It's where about 80 neighborhood volunteers Saturday had joined three city workers, who also were volunteering their time, to create a living memorial to two young girls who had lived a few streets away until their lives were prematurely cut short.
Rebecca Kaye Toone, 4, and Rachel Ana Toone, 15 months, died in February from what authorities believe was poisoning from phosphine gas fumes emitted from pellets placed too near their home by an exterminator.
The same pinks and yellows found in the memorial grove became a symbol of the neighborhood's grief and support for the family, as residents put pink and yellow ribbons on their cars and homes and wore pink and yellow ribbons at the double funeral.
The city plans to add a plaque, bearing the names of the two little girls, to the bench in the memorial grove.
When the group of park visitors heard Monday that the colorful area they were near was a memorial for these girls, they said they liked it even more.
"I'll sit here when I come to the park," said Jamie Taylor, of Layton. "It looks very neat, but it makes me sad for those kids. ... It's important to remember them."
Layton Mayor Steve Curtis had a hard time not becoming emotional as he discussed the neighborhood effort to create the remembrance.
"It's breathtaking," he said of the memorial. "It was so amazing to me to see the people come out with their shovels. It was so calming and peaceful."
Curtis said he was moved to see the neighborhood come together and develop the site. He said the city participated in a similar memorial for a U.S. Marine at a park on Church Street when the city experienced its first casualty in the war in Iraq.
The city purchased and donated the flowers for the project. A nursery, owned by those close to the Toone family, donated shrubbery and other plants, Curtis said.
Layton Parks Superintendent Brock Hill said it's not unusual for the city to participate with residents in such endeavors.
"We know it's a difficult time for the family," Hill said. "Anything we can do to help the family and make their memories last is worthwhile."