Monday, February 6, 2023

Resilience Rock Garden in James City County Addresses Impact of Historical, Racial Trauma

A Resilience Rock Garden was unveiled in Freedom Park. (Courtesy of Rebecca Vinroot)

JAMES CITY COUNTY — A new rock garden symbolizing community resilience was unveiled in James City County (JCC).

The Resilience Rock Garden was created to serve as a reminder of resilience to people as the world around them changes.

The Garden is sponsored by the Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network (GW-TICN)’s Racial Trauma Committee and was constructed in partnership with JCC.

GW-TICN’s mission is to raise awareness of the impact of trauma while building community resilience. 

Visitors are encouraged to paint a symbol or message of hope on a rock for the Garden. (Courtesy of Rebecca Vinroot)

“The Racial Trauma Committee chose to build a rock garden as rocks symbolize resilience, as they remain solid even as the world around them changes,” Rebecca Vinroot, director of JCC Department of Social Services, said.

The Garden was built in Freedom Park due to its location as one of the nation’s first Free Black Settlements. 

GW-TICN focuses on the importance of acknowledging and addressing the impact of historical and racial trauma to encourage the process of healing, according to Vinroot.

“By locating the garden at the entrance to the settlement, we hope that people will use it as a place to reflect and celebrate resilience,” she said.

Vinroot said that visitors are encouraged to bring a painted rock to place in the garden or take a rock to paint with a symbol or message of inspiration and return it to the garden.

A dedication of the Garden was held on Monday, May 2 to kick off the beginning of Resilience Week 2022.

The Garden will be a permanent space inside the park for residents and visitors to reflect on their experiences, trauma and resilience.

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