The inspiration behind the Utah Women's Walk, Rebecca Welch, who passed away from cancer in 1995.

Our Purpose » Origin

On the last day of completing my finals at Brigham Young University in April of 2001, I wanted to do something special to commemorate my completion of an undergraduate degree in Humanities. I called my niece, Hilary, to walk through the newly completed Thanksgiving Point Garden in Lehi, Utah to celebrate this special day. Hilary and I spent a very enjoyable time reminiscing about her mother, Rebecca who had passed away from cancer five years earlier, when Hilary was only eight years old. It is hard to describe the uplifting experience we had in words---it was not just a time of celebration, it was a significant experience of enjoying the beauties of nature and sharing information with Hilary about her remarkable mother. Together the walk provided us an educational, motivating, inspirational, and healing experience not long forgotten.

Shortly afterwards, I read an article in Good Housekeeping about a New Jersey Senator, Diane Allen, who was spearheading legislation to develop a “New Jersey’s Women’s Heritage Trail” commemorating the contributions of women to the history of their state. Since that time I have become aware of other projects such as the “Boston Women’s Heritage Trail,” which honors the important work of women in Massachusetts. The Boston exhibit highlights household names such as Abigail Adams, Amelia Earhart, and Rose Kennedy, while other designated women are much less familiar. Similarly, the University of Portland recently opened an exhibit on their campus called “Walk of the Heroines.” Over the course of the past ten years, the uplifting garden walk with my niece has developed into a viable and important future exhibit whereby many can enjoy and learn about Utah women.

--Michele A. Welch