Today BOP’s Youth Education team would like to share one of their favorite lessons with the orchard community. The Rock Guardians project has proved to not only brighten up any orchard or garden, but all ages enjoy making these boldly colored protectors. The project may require a bit of foraging and result in some painted fingertips, but we hope you give it a try in the future.
All you need for this project are some paint brushes, acrylic paint, rocks and the optional hairdryer. We did some digging around for our rocks but you’re welcome to buy some from the store, the only requirements for them are that you see its potential and that you give it a quick rinse before you start applying its makeup.
Step 1: Choose your rock
Step 2: Clean and dry your rock
Step 3: Paint it! Work in thin layers, let each layer dry before you go onto the next. A hairdryer speeds things up here.
Step 4: Let it dry
Step 5: Place your Rock Guardians into their job placements
The prompt that BOP uses when they present this project is a simple one “someone or something that makes you feel safe”.
Anyone can think of something to fit this prompt. We’ve seen dozens of superheroes, odes to parents or friends, even words of empowerment, but there are so many ways to interpret this prompt. Young orchardists at Jubilee and Paul’s Place created many colorful guardians, all with their own personal twists and touches. We took this project to the recent MLK day of service at where people from all walks of life made their own Rock Guardians for the trees at the Lillian Jones apartments in Station North. Lots of amazing rocks were painted that day, all funky in their own ways. Whether if it was Gandalf yelling “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” to beautifully inspiring quotes by Alice Walker, once they were placed around the trees you could see that they reflected that Baltimore has a community that cares.