Inspired by what they saw at a museum during their travels in North Wales, Laura Churchill Duke and her 10-year-old son Daniel of Kentville have suggested that their hometown adopt the poetry rock idea for Miner’s Marsh.
Churchill Duke said that before the family left for the United Kingdom for five months, she and Daniel met with Kentville Mayor Sandra Snow. Snow challenged Daniel to look around in the communities he would soon visit to find interesting aspects or initiatives that could be implemented in Kentville.
“We have a lot of things to share with the community when we return in June,” Churchill Duke said.
She said that during their first month in the UK, they visited a museum in North Wales - Porth y Swnt - that focuses on life by the sea. The museum features poetry, textiles and other art. That’s where they encountered the poetry rocks. Visitors can stop and write a word on a rock. The rocks can be arranged to create poetry.
Churchill Duke said they sent some pictures to Snow as part of their mission and to Genevieve Allen Hearn of Brainstorming Kentville.
“They took the idea and ran with it. We are so excited to hear that it will be implemented,” Churchill Duke said.
She said their time in the UK has been great because they’re generating several ideas about new and different approaches, from fundraising events to parks and spaces. She said these ideas include others for Miner’s Marsh.
Brainstorming Kentville recently announced on its Facebook page that they have received permission from the Town of Kentville to do a similar project involving painting words on rocks in Miner’s Marsh.
Allen Hearn, Brainstorming Kentville co-founder, said that although they welcome original ideas, most great ideas are stolen.
“We are looking for ideas that work in other places and can be easily implemented in Kentville through the work of enthusiastic volunteers,” Allen Hearn said. “Laura has a keen eye for finding community projects outside of Kentville that can be easily duplicated…and it didn’t take her long to find something during her stay in Wales.”
Allen Hearn said she has collected the rocks and is in the process of painting words on them. She’s hoping to have them finished in time for the Apple Blossom Festival at the end of May.
Allen Hearn said Brainstorming Kentville is an informal volunteer group that began in 2015 as a way to promote citizen-led projects in Kentville.
She said their catalyst was a pocket park that they created for the 2015 Harvest Festival in Kentville’s Centre Square.
“We received many comments from people stating that they loved the idea of a greener town square,” Allen Hearn said. “We then took that conversation to Facebook and have been using the Brainstorming Kentville Facebook page as a platform to share ideas about how to activate public space in Kentville.”
Allen Hearn said she and the other co-founders – Scott Hearn, Katie MacArthur and Michael DeLuca – will run with ideas from time-to-time. Their “micro-projects” have included planning garbage pick-ups, organizing guided walks, assisting with “Cash Mob” events, hanging a community chalkboard and organizing a public brainstorming session where they asked residents to come up with their own ideas.
For more information on Brainstorming Kentville, visit their Facebook page. They’ve also started an Instagram account, @BrainstormingKentville. They’re looking for volunteer help and invite people to join their conversations.