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Donated woodland is memorial for children

A mother and father have donated a tranquil woodland to — the City of Ashland in memory of their son and daughter.

Adam Burnson died at age 11 in a drunk driving accident — 10 years ago. The family faced another tragedy two years ago when 16 year-old — Sara Joy Burnson died from hospital complications, said their father, — David Burns of Medford.

Burns and his former wife, Katrina Son of Ashland, have — given a 13 acre parcel across from Lithia Park to the city.

The land, covered with oaks, Douglas firs, pines and spring-time — wildflowers, contains a quarter-mile segment of the popular Talent Irrigation — District ditch trail, according to Burns.

"The whole intent is to have people go up and enjoy it," — Burns said. "It's a great place to have tranquility."

Members of the public will be able to reach the land off — Granite Street near its intersection with Pioneer Street, according to — Ashland Parks and Recreation Director Don Robertson.

"The access will be named after Adam and Sara Joy Burnson," — he said.

The land donation provides important public access to — the ditch trail, links to city-owned open space and protection of scenery — up to the ridgeline, Robertson said.

Last week, the Ashland City Council formally accepted — the donation and dedicated the land for open space needs.

"We thank the family and we're sorry for their loss," — said Mayor John Morrison.

Son said she hopes people will find peace on the site.

"Nature can be really healing. I know that many people — in the community were impacted by these events and knowing these youngsters — and them leaving so soon," she said. "It's a good place to meditate or — clarify thoughts."

Son said her children enjoyed camping and that caretaking — of the environment was a main family value. The donation will preserve — habitat for deer, bear and other wildlife that frequent the area, while — honoring the memories of Adam and Sara Joy, she said.

"It's an act of love," Son said.