The Fayetteville Memory Garden (FMG) grew from an idea into a vision and then a vision into a foundation.

Our objective was to build a place where individuals could honor and memorialize their loved one(s) in a reflective setting.

The work on FMG included: monthly meetings with the Fayetteville Village Board; development of a feasible site rendering; information dissemination to local community groups; the creation of a FMG fundraising committee; management of the fiscal aspects; the formation of public relations, communication and marketing strategies; effort and energy to procure the necessary funds.

Together we created a foundation, a setting for reflection. In 2011, we built the garden from the ground up making this dream intro a reality.

From Concept to Completion: A Time Line


  • Founder, Rachael Ristau meets with Mayor Olsen to talk about the possibility of the construction of the project.



  • Fayetteville-Manlius High School sophomore Mateen Boroujerdi writes an editorial about Ristau’s vision for a memory garden.
  • Dal Pos Architects & Integrators Project Manger Donna Bartolotti reads editorial and partners with associates James Knittle and Anothny Rojas to design site rendering
  • Dal Pos and Ristau present rendering at the next Village of Fayetteville Board meeting where Hueber-Breuer Project Manager Sean Foran joins the initiative
  • O’Brien & Gere, Paragon Pavers, J.K. Tobin, Allied, J&J Landscaping, Landmasters and Cross Creek Nursery jump on board
  • Gain project approval from Village of Fayetteville Trustees



  • Volunteers begin to increase community awareness about the project by sitting at the annual Fayetteville Festival, occupying an information table at Carousel Mall, walking in holiday parades, and media coverage provided by The Post Standard, News Channel 9, News Channel 10 and the
  • Officially start selling bricks!!
  • FMG Committee launches epic fundraising campaign: annual car wash & bake sale. Bottle and Can Drive, Wine and Cheese Tasting Event at Deckard’s Winery, Uno’s Doughraiser, a Bowl-A-Thon at Green Lakes Lanes, a luncheon at O’Shea’s Tavern, Coffee House held by Character Ed at Fayetteville-Manlius High School and an F-M District Wide Jeans Day held by NHS.
  • Community presence increases as committee and founder speak with local community groups, walk in the Memorial Day Parade and are featured on both the Bridge Street Show, and 93Q Ted and Amy in the Morning
  • Fundraising campaign furthers as Quartier Printing, Dallas Graphics and Plan & Print Systems Inc. donate over 23,000 flyers



  • FMG Fundraising committee hosts Fifa Tournament and F-M Day at F-M High School, the ‘Grow Our Garden’ event at the Limestone Grill, Moe’s Fundraiser, and another Car Wash and Bake Sale
  • Break ground in June!
  • October 22nd, 2011 the Fayetteville Memory Garden officially opens!