Waterville, Maine— Waterville Creates! and The Yellow Tulip Project are teaming up to smash the stigma around mental illness by planting vibrant yellow tulips in community Hope Gardens at the RiverWalk at Head of Falls, Veteran’s Memorial Park, and at the Bill and Joan Alfond Main Street Commons in downtown Waterville. The Yellow Tulip Project was founded by Julia Hansen when she was just a sophomore in high school. The public is invited to participate in the planting of the Hope Gardens on Saturday, October 12. Planting will begin at the RiverWalk at 2:00 pm and finish at the Veteran’s Memorial Park. A Yellow Tulip ambassador, Abi Bloom, will lead the opening ceremony at the Veteran’s Memorial Park at 4pm, where there will be hot cocoa and cider to enjoy.
Participating organizations include Waterville High School, Kennebec Behavioral Health, Waterville Parks and Recreation, Hardy Girls/Healthy Women, The Family Enrichment Council, Maine General Hospital, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, FEDCO Bulbs, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville Peer Recovery Center, the Universalist Unitarian Church, Waterville Rotary Club, Waterville Public Library, Waterville Creates!, Waterville Lions Club, Maine Film Center, as well as many privately-owned properties throughout Waterville.
Julia had the goal to make a space for determined youth to join together to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness, build communities, and spark conversations about how to decrease the suicide rate. This is done through the Hope Gardens and related programming. In May, when the tulips are in full bloom, there will be associated wellness events available for all to attend in Waterville.
“We are thrilled to be working with The Yellow Tulip Project to help raise awareness for mental illness while spreading joy throughout Waterville. I’m looking forward to the programming in May and seeing all the beautiful tulips in bloom,” says Serena Sanborn, Education and Outreach Coordinator at Waterville Creates!
About The Yellow Tulip Project
The Yellow Tulip Project is a Maine based non-profit organization whose mission is to diminish the stigma surrounding mental illness while building a supportive community combining youth and community leaders. The goal is to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and The Yellow Tulip Project is fiercely devoted to making this aspiration a reality. For more information about The Yellow Tulip Project, visit TheYellowTulipProject.org
About Waterville Creates!
Waterville Creates! connects artists, cultural organizations, and the public with arts and cultural events and programs happening in our community. We believe that art and culture have the power to enrich lives, strengthen community bonds, and serve as an economic engine. We promote and support arts education, exhibitions, theatre, film, music, and dance that is accessible to all residents and visitors. Learn more at www.watervillecreates.org. For more information about the ongoing community capital campaign for the Paul J. Schupf Art Center visit www.downtownartscenter.org.