Fairy Houses and Gnome Homes Enchant Whipple Hill

June 22, 2023, Department, by Thomas Romano, CPRP

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With more than 140 registrations, the Town of Lexington (Massachusetts) Recreation and Community Programs’ fairy house and gnome home event was certain to be a hit. In September 2021, the agency invited community members to build whimsical fairy houses and gnome homes at Whipple Hill, a large conservation area within Lexington. Participants received an activity bag to foster creativity before heading into Whipple Hill to construct a house or home built perfectly for fairies and gnomes.

The program raised awareness of Whipple Hill, as well as the other 26 conservation areas and more than 50 miles of trails that Lexington has to offer. Fairy houses ranged from compounds complete with a front gate and multiple bedrooms to cozy homes suited for a fairy to stop by on their long travels home. The program ended with a showing of the homes at Whipple Hill accompanied by Ashley Rooney, author of Fairy Homes & Gardens. Participants received fairy wings to help them on their journey through the woods as they judged the homes. Families and adults all joined in on the fun with one family voicing, “We loved it — was very nice while doing remote schooling to have the activity — fun to enjoy the parks.”

The event was part of a 12-month Park Pop-Up program that ranged from an Ice Cream Social to a Winter Solstice, all culminating in more than 1,200 registrations. “Building Fairy Houses is a way to connect children to nature in an unstructured, imaginative and creative way. The more connections we can provide, the more invested youth become in the future of their environment. The value of stewardship is embedded in this simple activity that can be done anywhere and at any age,” says Christine Dean, director of Lexington Recreation and Community Programs Community Center. The programs were funded through the CHNA [Community Health Network Area] 15 DoN [Determination of Need] funds from Lahey Hospital and Medical Center and Winchester Hospital.

Fairy houses continue to be built in Lexington. Since the event, two more workshops have taken place at the Lexington Community Center to teach others the joy of building fairy houses.

Thomas Romano, CPRP, is Youth and Family Program Coordinator at Town of Lexington (Massachusetts) Recreation and Community Programs.