News of the Day


by Craig Altschul

St. Michael’s College in the Burlington area has installed the first (possibly) “word garden” in the nation, says the <Burlington Free Press. It will act as a campus meditation/communication area in which people can leave messages using stones with engraved words. The garden is the combined effort of Education Professor Valerie Bang-Jensen, Biology Professor Mark Lubkowitz, and Stone Artist Chris Cleary of On the Rocks stone-carving Studio in Jericho. Chris has carved and kept words from stone projects over the years onto a variety of stones in different fonts and did not want to get rid of them. The stones can be moved around to spell out brief messages making use of 350 available words. What sets the Word Garden apart, says Bang-Jensen, is its interactivity. “Feel passion ate forever,” or “enthusiastic creosote paid no respect,” or “Ninja fur balls drive east in poor boats” are but a few recent messages left by passers-by, students, summer camp youngsters, and professors. The only thing that limits the combination of words is people’s creativity. It’s the ultimate word game.

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About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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