The Susie Jackson Freedom Memorial Garden will open to the public June 17, 2022, on the seventh anniversary of the tragedy at Mother Emanuel AME Church.
The memorial garden is located behind the Charleston County Public Library at 68 Calhoun Street and runs along Alexander Street, where Ms. Jackson lived for more than 50 years. The park can be accessed by a path from Calhoun Street.
Susie Jackson, who at 87 was the eldest of the nine congregants murdered in the racist attack during evening Bible study on June 17, 2015, was an active member of Emanuel AME Church. Known for her love of family and kindness to others, Ms. Jackson is formally remembered every June 18, which the city has declared Susie Jackson Day.
The memorial is a Charleston garden with a variety of plant species and trees that will provide color and interest throughout all seasons. It will include a water feature and nine Japanese blueberry trees, in honor of the nine lives lost during the tragedy, as well as five Noisette roses, representing each of the survivors. Benches and additional plantings will be installed later this month.
The park was made possible through a public/private partnership that included the city of Charleston, Charleston County, Charleston Parks Conservancy and the support of the surrounding neighborhood residents and businesses.
A formal dedication and plaque installation ceremony will be scheduled after the benches and final plantings are in place.