Mayor Rich Walker
Mayor Rich Walker

A Message from Mayor Rich Walker

This month marks the five-year anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy. The families of the victims have shown our community their tremendous strength and how a horrible tragedy can lead to inspiring collaborative achievements.

Tremendous organizations and foundations have been created to memorialize the 17 victims of this tragedy. These organizations have awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships and grants. They have effectuated positive changes on the federal, state, and local levels regarding laws and policies that will ensure safety for us all—in the hopes that a similar horrific event is not repeated.

Let us use their strength as an example of how we can all support one another and be stronger together. Far too often, we ‘sweat the small stuff’ or take the simple things for granted. When, in reality, our daily life is a gift that so many would embrace.

As Mayor, I have the honor of serving on the board of the Parkland 17 Memorial Foundation. The foundation is tasked with developing a memorial to honor those who were taken from us much too soon. The foundation board consists of one elected official from Parkland, one from Coral Springs, a resident from each City, a  representative from the victims’ families, an Ad Hoc member, and is chaired by Mike Moser, our Deputy Fire Chief. This 501(c)3 organization had been working towards this goal for several years, and the Parkland 17 Memorial Foundation has finally secured land for the project, which is situated between both Coral Springs and Parkland.

We have put out a call for artists to secure a reputable entity to create a unique, appropriate memorial and to help develop this site. The goal is to create a place for our community to go and reflect, heal, and, above all, remember the 17. For more information on this organization, please visit

On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, at the Amphitheatre at Pine Trails Park, we will hold the five-year Commemoration event to honor and remember the 17 victims. We hope the entire Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community will join us. We know the tragedy that took place here extends well beyond Parkland, and we want everyone to know they are welcome. Every year this event provides a humbling reminder of those that were taken and how our community comes together to honor them and comfort one another.

If you would like to share your thoughts on the memorial committee, the Commemoration event, or if you have questions or comments you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached via e-mail at or via cell phone at (973) 390-1453. Of course, I am frequently available monthly at Parkland businesses and love to talk with residents there.

I encourage you to visit the City’s website, and click on the social media icon that you prefer, to ensure that you stay informed on events and helpful information.

Rich Walker
City of Parkland, Florida

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