Garden project takes root in Westfield

Solid as a Rock

WESTFIELD — Not since the Pet Rocks of the 1960s has there been such a buzz over rocks!

In the village, as in so many small communities around the country, folks are enjoying a stony game of Hide and Seek. The painting and hiding rock craze hit new heights recently when it expanded to its very own community rock garden.

Located in the garden space in front of Stoves and Stuff on Union Street, the newly christened Westfield Community Rock Garden is the brainchild of George Kurtz, founder of Rocks Around Westfield. He created the sign and placed the rocks, and in a short time a new landmark was born.

Stoves and Stuff owner Steve Link said it is fun to watch people check out the painted rocks in front of his shop. “I was happy to give this space to the people of Westfield. It’s a great way for the community to interact, and they really get into it!”

Another community business, Westfield Nursery, has gotten into the act as well, donating mulch and plants to round out the garden.

“Westfield Nursery loves to participate in projects that serve the village we call home, and what better project than a garden?” said Patty Bowen, manager of the nursery and co-administrator of the Rocks Around Westfield group. “The thing that is so wonderful about this hobby is that anyone can paint a rock. Kids, older folks, artists and novices — you can’t mess up a rock. And since so many places are doing it, you often end up finding rocks that have really traveled quite a distance to make it to our garden space.”

The rules of the Westfield Community Rock Garden are simple. As Kurtz posted when he unveiled the spot on Facebook, “This will be a take one-leave one rock garden, so please be respectful to others who would like to enjoy this.”

Paintings can be in any art style, on small or large rocks. It is best to seal them so they withstand the elements. Participants bring their own creation to either leave or trade for one of the rocks already there. Check back often, because organizers believe this space will change and grow over time.