SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - The Santa Clarita City Council will vote Tuesday night on whether or not to dedicate the town’s Central Park to the two kids who died in the Saugus High School shooting last year.
Central Park, located right next to the high school on Bouquet Canyon Road, was the meeting place parents hoped they’d be able to hug their children again during the most horrific day in Santa Clarita history.
It was home to the city’s largest gathering a few days later, when the community came together and cried for school shooting victims Dominic Blackwell and Gracie Muehlberger.
It was also the place where those two kids used to play and feel free, happy and safe.
Now their parents hope to add Gracie Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell’s names to the city’s Central Park.
“We just feel like these two children, Dominic and Gracie brought together community like we’ve never seen before,” says Gracie’s dad, Bryan Muehlberger.
“They embody what that city represents, which is all about love, support, community and unity of everyone involved.”In a petition on www.DedicateCentralPark.com, more than 10,000 people stand behind appending the park’s name.
But not everyone supports it. Some city council members would rather create a meaningful memorial at the park, for instance, a bronze bench with statues of the two kids sitting on it.
“It seems to be it’s an untouchable park in terms of the name,” says Muehlberger.
“Maybe it’s similar to renaming Central Park in New York City. It would be really hard to get that renamed for every tragedy that occurs in a town so I can understand that point of view, but we just haven’t had a good enough dialogue to understand any rationale behind it
.”It’s been nine months since the world turned upside down for the Blackwells and Muehlbergers, never to be fixed, but seeing their kids’ names on a park that meant so much to them and means so much to this community, they say, would bring a bit of peace.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that something doesn’t trigger me to cry or my wife to cry,” says Muehlberger.
“We just want to continue moving forward and doing whatever we can to represent her great and represent Dominic and show the world what we can do if we do things together.”
The meeting starts at 6 pm on www.santa-clarita.com and community input is welcome.