Holyoke school transforming bocce court into unity garden

Holyoke school transforming bocce court into unity garden
Updated: Jun. 10, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - There’s a new effort to bring the community together in Holyoke and show support for those impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Mater Dolorosa Catholic School in Holyoke decided to unite the community by transforming a bocce court in Pulaski Park into a unity garden.

Chris Andrews, a Mater Dolorosa parent, organized this garden to send a message.

“We need to do something to unify people because it’s the only way we can change things,” Andrews said.

Andrews explained how the flowers planted will hold a special meaning and show support for those impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine

“The garden is specifically for unity. We will be growing flowers: the poppies for Poland, the national flower of Poland, the chamomile for Russia, and the sunflowers for Ukraine,” Andrews added.

For now, preschoolers planted fake flowers with messages attached, so they can see what the garden will look like.

“We wanted to have some color immediately in the garden, so people would know there was something going on and for the kids to do something before they leave school…Kids, flowers…It’s all very, very, ya know, simple but I think the representation, what it represents, is very powerful,” Andrews noted.

Western Mass News spoke to preschool teacher Jordyn Mercier about how she used the garden to teach important lessons.

“There’s not good things that are happening in the world right now and we talk about what it means to be nice to each other and treat others with respect and a lot about peace and unity,” Mercier said.

A QR code will also be placed in the garden, so people can see pictures of the students and read their messages.

If you would like information on the project, you can click here.