Memorial garden honors Kendrick Castillo by paying it forward to those in need

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CASTLE ROCK — A group of Castle Rock community members are helping to pay it forward, in honor of Kendrick Castillo.

They started a memorial garden for Castillo back in May, where every plant has a purpose.

“I just want people to remember him,” said Rita Klement.

She and her family got the idea to start the memorial garden, a day after Kendrick heroically lost his life protecting his fellow classmates.

“My daughter, who is 15-years-old and in high school, texted me out of the blue and said “mom, we have to do something for Kendrick’s family.”

The built the memorial garden inside what’s called “Garden for the poor,” located near the St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, in Castle Rock.

The garden has been here for years, but the new section of it was planted on Mother’s Day.

“I had Kendrick’s mom, who I haven’t met, definitely on my heart all day,” said Klement.  “It was important for me to do it that way for her.  I couldn’t imagine waking up on Mother’s Day without one of my babies,” she said, with tears in her eyes.

People who never met Kendrick, donated their time and materials to make it all happen.

“When such a young man is lost doing something like that, it’s important for the family to understand that the community, as a whole, really understands the gravity of the loss.  It was just a small token we could do to assist,” said Jerry Powell, with Castle Rock Woodworks.

Powell, along with Chad Boyers, created a wooden plaque (free of charge) in Castillo’s name—which sits at the edge of the garden.

Klement says they just recently started harvesting—experiencing delays from a very wet summer.

“We started harvesting, maybe mid-July,” she told Fox31.

All the vegetables will get handed out to those in need, on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, inside the church.

“He paid the ultimate price in an act of service to others.  It’s important for me to bring my own children here and have them have a servant’s heart.”

Klement says it’s a small, but impactful, way to preserve this young man’s legacy.

“I just want people to remember him.  He’s a hero.  He was just a kid.”

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