Honoring Nolan Davidson: Christa McAuliffe Elementary Dedicates Community Garden

Honoring Nolan Davidson: Christa McAuliffe Elementary Dedicates Community Garden
Shawnee Mission School District

More than a hundred people attended a beautiful ceremony at Christa McAuliffe Elementary School, as the school dedicated their newly completed community garden in memory of Nolan Davidson. The garden now stands as tribute to the third-grader who “planted love in the lives of everyone he touched.”  

The dedication, led by Principal Michael Orr, was a culmination and celebration of community effort.

“We had a community member who initially put the grant in for the garden last summer, and the community came and helped to build it. The community has supported the Davidsons since December and I think this garden will always symbolize what kind of community we have and that support."

At the ceremony, the Davidsons were surrounded by friends, family, teachers, and the entire school community as some of the people closest to Nolan contributed to the dedication. 

One of the speakers included Nolan’s classmate, Alex Montes, who read a poem to honor his friend

"I was nervous, but I thought about my friend, so I just had to stick through it," said Alex. 

The space memorializes Nolan and the impact he left with bright blue lettering that officially designates the area as the “Nolan Davidson Memorial Garden.”

"It feels nice,” said Alex as he looked up at the tribute to his friend. “I can see Nolan's name and I can always remember him and the memories that we always did together." 

The garden includes native plants from the Shawnee Mission Northwest Horticulture Club and a butterfly garden provided by Lenexa Parks and Recreation.  Additionally, the space includes benches for learning and reflection, built by Andrew Mitchell, a Junior at Shawnee Mission Northwest.

Nolan Davidson was a third-grade student at Christa McAuliffe Elementary before he died in December 2023. In dedicating this sacred space to Nolan, the school honors not only his memory but also the compassion and support of an incredible community.