The story of Vernon’s ‘Pumpkin of Hope’

Vernon. The lush plant that grew by leaps and bounds by the municipal building’s front door brought joy to municipal workers during the pandemic’s darkness days.

| 10 Aug 2021 | 10:51

Mishelle Downtain, Vernon’s director of recreation and events, recalls how fear of the unknown rattled people’s lives and nerves during last year’s shutdown.

Vernon employees were coming into the municipal building to work but remained isolated in their respective offices. A solemn feeling of isolation pervaded the building.

Suddenly there was a ray of hope in the form of a mystery plant that began growing in the mulch outside the building’s front door. The plant grew and grew.

Its lush growth grabbed the employees’ attention and admiration. Every morning each worker would stop to look at the plant and make sure it was doing well. Then one day, the guessing game was over. They discovered a pumpkin growing under the broad leaves.

“In the midst of such a challenging time for us all, this little pumpkin gave us hope,” said Downtain. “It was a symbol of new life and brighter days ahead, and it just goes to show that the smallest of things can make a huge impact.”

Downtain said this year the workers planted the seeds saved from the 2020 “Pumpkin of Hope” to create another one. And the 2021 iteration is doing very well, thriving and affirming hope in trying times.