Shiway and Sadie Barry Memorial dedication held at Chester Park playground

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In April 2022, the lives of the Barry family were tragically taken by gun violence. Now, the family’s loved ones have coordinated with city staff to create a memorial at the Chester Park playground.

“I think it shows how much the family was loved, and I think it also shows how much this community cares about its park system and about the parks being a place for people to gather and share and celebrate and laugh and have fun, which is something that the family did here a lot,” said City of Duluth Parks and Recreation Manager Jessica Peterson. “So to know that their spirit will live on through the donations that were made, but also because the people who miss them will come back here and think about them in this space is where we feel incredibly privileged and honored to be a part of the project.”

Chester Park was a beloved destination for the Barry family, especially for Shiway and Sadie.

The Barry family consisted of Riana (44), Sean (47), Shiway (12), and Sadie (9). Wyatt Phillips met Shiway at the Chester Park playground, eventually becoming close friends.

“She saw the good in everything, like she was a very bright person and a very kind person,” said Phillips. “She was always down to talk about whatever or hang out with whoever. She was a good person who made the world a better place.”

In just a year and a half since their passing, family, friends, and community members raised $22,000 to support the park by adding a new spinner element and an accessible swing, converting the fall zone from sand to engineered wood fiber, incorporating an accessible pathway to the playground, and installing a bench in remembrance of the children.

“We really hope that when you come to this place that you feel love and a sense of childlike joy, and that you have an appreciation for your loved ones wherever they may be,” said City of Duluth Parks and Recreation Senior Parks Planner Katie Bennett.”

Additional funding support for the project came from the Parks Capital Fund.