Rock snake at Melfort Hospital pays tribute to healthcare workers

The Grade 1 class at Reynold’s Central School in Melfort, pictured, placed a rock snake outside the Melfort Hospital to say thank you to health care workers. Classes from Grade 1, Grade 5, Grade 6 and pre-kindergarten painted rocks used in the project./Submitted Photo

Maggie Puttick, an Educational Associate (EA) at Reynolds Central School in Melfort was looking for a way to pay tribute to healthcare workers. On May 21 the first set of rocks were placed in front of Melfort Hospital by Reynold’s Grade 1 class to construct a rock snake to show gratitude to healthcare workers.

“We were looking for a way to show appreciation to healthcare workers in our area and something that we were able to do within the guidelines for the COVID-19 protocol,” Puttick said.

Puttick also is part of a group of people who leave rocks to be found and hidden again and paints rocks as a hobby. She and some classes from Reynolds have been painting rocks for the snake for a few weeks to set up the snake. Puttick said that the Pre-Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 5 and Grade 6 classes took part in the project.

She explained that 20 to 25 rocks went in place on May 21 and 50 to 60 rocks would be added by other classes.

“It is basically because we can’t mix classes,” she said.

According to Puttick this is both for safety and respect and something she has been following with her own group.

“My rock group is not putting rocks at this time because I am not comfortable with other people picking up rocks and then sharing them again. So this is a way that we can put the rocks down and leave them there,” she explained.

The idea came from a similar project in Cold Lake Alberta called Cold Lake Rocks who made a snake of rocks at one of their favourite places.

“I don’t remember where it was and it wasn’t in appreciation for the healthcare workers it was for something else but I just really liked the idea and I thought what better way to appreciate our healthcare workers here in Melfort,” Puttick said.

The snake is in front of the hospital where rock gardens have replaced grass.

“So what we are doing is we are inviting the public once the snake gets started to add their own rocks and to paint their own rocks and add them as they wish but to not take rocks from the hospital grounds,” Puttick explained.

Puttick thanked Armstrong Trucking and Excavating in Melfort for donating the rocks used in the project after Puttick reached out.

“They are happy to be a part of it,” she said.