Daily Archives: July 15, 2021

The Story Behind Jill’s Garden at DeKorte Park

Visitors to DeKorte Park have long enjoyed the Jill Ann Ziemkiewicz Memorial Butterfly Garden. Located outside the Meadowlands Environment Center, the garden is a beautiful spot for tranquil relaxation and includes blossoming flowers and a hand-carved limestone fountain shaped like a sunflower. Its milkweed plants attract butterflies, and the garden is the focal point of this year’s annual Butterfly Day (Sunday, July 18).

Jill Ann Ziemkiewicz was a Rutherford native and member of the flight crew of TWA Flight 800. She died at age 23 when the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island on July 17, 1996 –  25 years ago this Saturday.     

A plaque in the garden reads: Jill’s Garden commemorates her love of children, education and nature. In this outdoor classroom children will come to know Jill’s joyful spirit as they share in the beauty of her butterfly garden. The sunflower, her favorite flower, will forever symbolize the sunshine she brought into the lives she touched. Make a difference … as Jill did.        

 The Record newspaper recently published a story featuring an interview with Jill Ann’s mother. The story can be found here.