Downtown gardens to be decorated with painted rocks

May 13, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Positive messages and images painted on rocks will soon adorn Orangeville’s raised garden beds outside of Readers’ Choice (151 Broadway) and Broadway Music (229 Broadway).

The Orangeville Business Improvement Association (OBIA) is encouraging residents to paint rocks at home and place them on the garden beds, with the intention of brightening people’s day.

The initiative is part of the global Kindness Rocks Project, which is a viral trend where people paint rocks and leave them behind for others to find.  

“Everyone’s stuck at home again, so we’re really trying to find something fun for the community and fun for the kids to do,” said Julia Grys, OBIA ambassador. “We’ve got so many great local artists in town as well, so we’re hoping that everybody will join in and get involved.”

Grys noted that the rocks will help to add some colour to Orangeville’s downtown area, as it’s still a little bit too early for the summer flowers to begin blooming.

“We’re just trying to cheer this place up a little… with this third shutdown, people are feeling pretty down,” she told the Citizen. “You just never know what someone else is going through and one little message could change your whole day, and one day could really change your life.”

Some rocks might contain messages of kindness and hope or encouraging people to share a smile, while others could be painted images, the OBIA is encouraging everyone to use their creativity.

Those who feel touched by a certain rock’s message or are attracted to any of them can take one home and paint a rock of their own to drop off and pay it forward.

“If there’s one message that really speaks to you, or you see a most motivational message that you’d like to share with somebody else who’s going through a hard time, you can actually take the rock home so we may see that we get a lot at first and then a lot of them disappear, but that’s okay. We want people to feel those messages and take them as they speak to them,” Grys explained. “We hope that people will then paint another rock and bring it back so that they can pay it forward and can feel the positivity as well.”

In terms of decorating the rocks, the Orangeville BIA has shared some methods that can be done cheaply or with supplies that are likely already at home through their Downtown Orangeville Facebook Page:

“We’re going to do a post just to give some tips for how anybody can participate, even if they can’t get into the stores right now,” said Grys.

Some of those methods include using finger paints or washable paints, which most parents with young children often already have at home, and then sealing it over with a layer of clear nail polish or a protective layer.

Grys says no matter your artistic talent or available supplies, all rocks are welcome.

“It’s easy, even if you only have markers at home, even if you’re not quite sure what to say and you’d rather just draw something instead or have some fun coloring. All of it counts and all of it is appreciated,” she enthused.

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