Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
DULUTH-Months after the death of 24-year-old Ashley Ganyo, the grieving continues for those closest to her. But now some of the former UMD student’s closest friends have a way to make sure her memory grows with time.Ganyo’s co-workers at the Lake Superior Zoo planted a memory garden on Saturday afternoon that they say is as colorful as the personality lost to a life-ending drunk driving decision.During the planting, stone met paintbrushes guided by Cody and Dillon Nord, the younger brothers of the Ashley. "When we went to school sometimes she came and sat with us. That was really special for her. And the best part about her is that she worked at a zoo,” Cody said.Now Ashley’s best friend, Jackiy Klund, says the former employee is a part of the zoo."A friendship garden is what we're going to call it because she was the one who, not kept us all friends but helped make it happen and was also planning stuff to help keep us all together,” Klund said."She was the first person I met here when I came to the zoo. She trained me in,” Klund said.She says this permanent garden reflects who "the girl with the best smile" really was. "I think wildflowers, she was a wildflower,” Klund said.Ashley’s mom agrees. "She was a loved young person,” Tammy Nord said. “She loved people. She loved to do things for others so it's nice to know that they want to do this for her because I know that she would be the first to do this for anybody."Tammy reflects on her daughter's death in Superior's Billings Park. Last December, Ashley drowned in her vehicle after drunkenly driving off a small cliff into Lake Superior."It's day-by-day. One day is good, one not so good, and sometimes just the moments,” Tammy said.The coping continues after the loss of their very social family member. The new garden space, however, is planned to always show Ashley’s roots in Duluth."She touched all of us and to know that they wanted to do this to show her that she's still part of us. And it's a place for everybody to come and have peace and tranquility with her. A place to sit and remember the good person that she was,” Tammy said."And we think it's going to be special because we really miss her and really love her so much. And it's a good idea because she has a lot of favorite colors and her favorite color is green,” Ashley’s brother, Cody, said. The memorial is now open for all zoo visitors.