Back in April 2019, long before the pandemic hit, Girl Scout Troop 10276, from East Fishkill began working on a community bronze award project, and offered to build a 'kindness rock garden' at Julie's Jungle, and of course, were given the go ahead.

Fast forward two years, and on June 18, 2021, the troop was able to install the structure they built, and along with it, a garden full of decorated rocks with a message, theme, or inspirational quote to lift the spirits of the people who visit the garden.

Jan McHugh - Julie's Jungle

One message at just the right moment can change someone's entire day, outlook, life - this was the theme that Troop 10276 used as the inspiration behind their project, and by the looks of the outcome, they certainly succeeded.

Dutchess County Legislator Steve Caswell was on site for the installation of the Kindness Rock Garden, and expressed his happiness of what the troop was able to contribute to Julie's Jungle, as it is something that will be memorable for years to come.

Jan McHugh - Julie's Jungle

When asked about the project, Troop Leader Joanna Biagi stated "our Girl Scout Troop has been working for two years on this bronze award and the pandemic really slowed us down, but we are so happy that we saw it to its conclusion and completed it today,' and Assistant Troop Leader, Darcel Lombardo added, "we are so proud of all the girls".

Clare Moran, who serves as the Vice President on the Julie's Jungle Board of Directors shared her sentiments, saying "how wonderful to see so much pride of ownership at Jule's Jungle and it truly belongs to everyone."

The garden offers visitors the opportunity to take a rock, should it mean something to them, share a rock with a friend who may need a little inspiration, or add a rock to the pile and join in spreading kindness.

The Kindness Rock Garden is part of a new 1,600 square foot garden at 5 Old Lime Kiln Road in Hopewell Junction, home to Julie's Jungle.  Dating back to 2012, Julie's Jungle is not only one of the area's most popular playgrounds, but an accessible, state of the art adaptive playground that offers something for children of all abilities.

The Catskill Cats are Back for 2021

Many Hudson Valley towns do various outdoor art displays throughout the Summer. Catskill is known for it's Cats. These one of a kind creations are the work of local artist who wish to share their themed cats with the people visiting Catskill and Leeds. At the end of the season their is an auction with a gala where the Cats are auctioned off. Heart of Catskill is behind this great display that adds another reason to visit, shop and dine in the community.

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