Comforting Those Who Mourn



About Us

The Story of the Park

In 1999, Jennifer and Billy Dan Carson’s son Braden passed away just hours before being born. Their faith in God and each other brought them through some very tough times, a journey Jennifer captured in a book she wrote called Letters to My Glory Baby.

Jennifer’s prayer was that God would give her purpose for Braden’s brief life on earth. Sometime after his passing, Jennifer’s mom discovered Elena’s Children’s Park in Dallas, a neighborhood park designed to memorialize a child lost in a tragic car accident. The community rallied and together to build a beautiful, tranquil park celebrating not only Elena’s life, but also the lives of all children.


Jennifer’s family and friends encouraged her to do something similar in Tyler. Initially, she resisted and felt uncertain and overwhelmed by the magnitude of the project. Then doors started to open, showing the way for The Children’s Park to become a reality in Tyler, Texas. Jennifer contacted those in Dallas who had been instrumental in Elena’s Children’s Park, and they even volunteered to come to Tyler at the start of 2001 to work with Jennifer to get this project off the ground.


After meeting with city officials, the Parks and Recreation Board, and the City Council, the City voted to become a part of this unique and unprecedented initiative. Word began to spread, and Jennifer’s friends, community leaders, church groups, clubs, and other parents offered their support. People felt a common need to have a place where children were celebrated and remembered—and what a wonderful way for the City and its citizens to honor the lives of its children. Phase I of The Children’s Park was completed and donated to the City of Tyler in September 2004. Phase II was completed in 2015. The Children’s Park celebrates the art of natural play for children and includes life-size bronze statues of children, life-size solid granite bears, a children’s story circle, two waterfalls gently flowing into a fish pond, a beautiful butterfly garden, critters for children to climb on and the unique Alison’s House event center. Cobblestone walkways wind through The Park, with benches along the way, and children’s names engraved along the edges.

It provides a place of quiet reflection for families and friends who have lost a child, a restful alternative to a cemetery. It’s a place to reflect, to celebrate, to grieve, to heal—and a place for children to play and laugh. It is a special space in our city that says to all our children, “You are special and honored!” Tyler is known for its beauty and wonderful sense of community. The story of The Park reveals the passion and unity of our citizens who wanted this project to become a reality.


“The Park operates under the public private partnership between the City of Tyler and the Children’s Park of Tyler.”



The Children’s Park of Tyler is entirely supported by the gifts and generosity of others. They give of their resources and invest their time to ensure grieving families in our community never walk that journey alone.