Bridget Seegers has been sequestered in her parents’ home on Goodland for much of the COVID-19 Pandemic. After the death of George Floyd, she knew she had to get out and do something. So, she staged a Hearts in the Park event at Goodland’s Margood Park on Saturday, June 20.
“I did what I called a ‘Hearts in the Park’ outreach event,” Seegers explained. “I wanted it to be an opportunity for people to learn more about the hearts, discuss racial justice and the need for change. I also wanted to listen to what people had to say about the hearts. There were also free hearts, if people were interested in hanging their own hearts at home.”
Seegers had noticed the green hearts hanging in the mangroves along Goodland Drive heading into Goodland.
“Truly a marvelous sight,” Seegers said. “The hearts were a community effort. I don’t know everyone that contributed. I believe there were at least 160 hearts at one point. Before I had added any, I went for a morning run and discovered the hearts unexpectedly and counted 130 that morning. Then, folks kept adding to them. The vast majority of the hearts were blank green hearts.
“About 30 had short phrases such as Racial Justice, Fight for Equality, Unite for what is Right, Love Thy Neighbor, Everyone Benefits from Racial Justice, and a small number, maybe five, said “Black Lives Matter. I was told about the hearts by a neighbor and I believe they were inspired by this. Also, I use ‘neighbor’ very loosely to describe anyone I talk to in Goodland since they are all in the neighborhood.”
Seegers‘ Hearts in the Park outreach was lightly attended, perhaps because she chose not to promote it widely, depending instead on foot traffic.
“The hearts were a positive message,” Seegers stated, “they symbolize a desire for action, support for a more just system and therefore hope for a better future.”