Orange County’s Facilities Management Team Works to Preserve Pulse Memorial Items
The Orange County Facilities Management team worked tirelessly to manage the dignified and careful removal of thousands of deteriorated flowers from the memorials related to the Pulse tragedy. The flowers will be moved to Leu Gardens, where – through composting – they will be organically turned into soil that will be used to nourish the gardens throughout the City of Orlando.
This effort is part of the One Orlando Collection Initiative; a partnership between Orange County Government and the City of Orlando with the goal of preserving the memories of the Pulse victims and to document the impact of the June 12 tragedy.
“It has been such an uplifting experience to witness the amazing work ethic and team spirit, as well as the incredibly respectful, tender treatment of the precious memorial tribute items intertwined with so many of the flowers,” Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said of the Facilities Management team.
The memorial sites are anticipated to be heavily visited during the upcoming Independence Day weekend and the hard work of the Facilities Management team will allow citizens to properly view and appreciate the objects and artifacts that have been left.
To preserve memorial items for the long-term memory of our community and the world and to create a comprehensive historical record for current and future generations, Orange County’s Regional History Center will be regularly photographing, cataloguing, removing and preserving the tribute items, artifacts and mementoes from the public memorial sites throughout the city. The History Center will serve as the repository and caretaker for the physical tribute items, which will be collected and handled with great dignity.
All non-perishable items will be stored and safeguarded for posterity, as well as possible future use in Pulse memorial exhibits, tributes and/or museums.
Orange County Facilities Management Division Manager Rich Steiger explained that his team’s work is their way of standing united with the community.
“The community took time out of their busy schedules to place these flowers at the memorial site, in respect to those affected by this tragic event,” said Steiger. “Our facilities management team felt that it was important to do the same and to remove the flowers carefully to show our respect and say ‘thank you’.”
The efforts of the Orange County Facilities Management team and Orange County’s Regional History Center will continue into the first weeks of July.
Orange County’s Regional History Center will also be collecting other items related to the Pulse tragedy, including photographs, digital memories, videos, spoken stories, social media postings, artwork and other remembrances, so these memories will be available for future generations.