Colourful painted rocks symbolizing pride and diversity can be found around Chestermere in celebration of pride month.
Chestermere Pride Committee Member, Natasha Goddard was inspired to find a way that children could get involved with celebrating pride in the Chestermere.
“I am a kindergarten teacher, and the kids absolutely love painting rocks, and I was looking for something for pride this year, as we couldn’t have an outdoor event like we had last year that could involve families and not just adults,” Goddard said.
“I thought of doing pride-themed rocks and putting them all over town,” she added.
Although the Chestermere Pride events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chestermere Pride Rocks were not completely inspired by the event cancellation.
“It was inspired by the fact that we had to think outside of the box this year,” Godard said.
“It was something that I had been thinking about doing last year after we did our pride events that the kids could do and be involved,” she said.
It was extremely important to Goddard and the Chestermere Pride Committee that there are events, and activities to celebrate pride that are family-friendly, and not only for adults.
“Last year we did a great job with that, with the Pride in the Park family event we did. I was thinking of ways we could get families and kids involved with celebrating pride in the town,” Goddard said.
“It was things that kids don’t necessarily need parents to do,” she said.
Chestermere Pride Committee members, local youth, and friends have been painting rocks, adding #Chestermerepriderocks on the ones large enough, and hiding them around the community for residents to find.
All members of the community are encouraged to paint and add their own rocks to the collection around Chestermere.
Although the Chestermere Pride Rocks initiative was launched one week ago, Goddard and other members of the Chestermere Pride Committee have received feedback from residents on social media posting whenever they find a pride rock.
“We’ve also had feedback from friends and members in the community who are finding them and adding their own, and we’ve had neighbours who have added their own onto their front yard,” Goddard said.
Goddard now plans to continue the Chestermere Pride Rocks again next year.
“From the feedback, we’ve heard from community members so far, and committee members who have young kids, it’s something the kids can do to get involved,” Goddard said.