SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - Almost three years ago, we lost our friend and coworker Jessica Starr. But she's never been forgotten. Now her family is pushing to make that true for years to come with a splash pad in her honor in the city of Novi.
Jessica's mom, Carol, and her husband, Dan Rose, joined FOX 2's Derek Kevra on Thursday to discuss the splash pad. The 3,200-square-foot splash pad is being proposed for a spot at Novi's Bosco Park.
Carol explained that, during the pandemic, she was biking and walking regularly and thinking of her daughter and ways to honor her life and memory. While at a park, she noticed how happy the children and family all were - even during a pandemic.
"I just had this light bulb moment that went off and I thought, our grandkids love splash parks, all of the grandkids love going to the splash parks. Why not build a happy splash park?" Carol said.
Then she started making some phone calls to cities and municipalities to figure out who would be interested in one. She was eventually connected to Novi, where Jessica's family still lives, which was still looking for support to build a splash park.
Dan said splash parks represent joy and happiness and is reflective of who Jessica was.
"Jess loved being outside. She loved the sun, she loved the fun, she was a fun, happy-go-lucky...woman. I think this is a perfect way to memorialize her," Dan said.
Jessica's children, Noah and Riley, had a big hand in helping create the design for the splash pad. Carol said that the grandchildren love splash pads and splash parks and the family loved the idea and wanted to contribute.
"Noah and Riley wanted rainbows, butterflies, umbrellas - so we incorporated their renderings with the designer from the company," Carol said.
She took the children to nearby splash parks to help determine the exact right features for the park.
Novi Mayor Bob Gatt said that if he had it his way, the splash pad would be ready next summer. That may not be likely but you can help contribute now. You can donate at noviparksfoundation.org/jessica.
Carol said that the splash pad is the perfect way for her to remember her daughter.
"I can see her sitting there with me, enjoying it. Watching her children and her niece and nephew and other children playing and enjoying, laughing, and having fun in the sunshine, in the summer when it's warm. She loved the beach, she loved warm weather," Carol said.
Jessica was a Michigan native, born in Southfield and raised in Commerce Township. She received two meteorology degrees from Michigan State University and Mississippi State University.
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