Hope Center, Inc.


In 2017, HOPE Center hosted two back-to-back Nature Explore workshops.


During the first workshop Mrs. Gerie Grimes, President/CEO presented an astonishing artifact recently discovered in Hope’s outdoor classroom. Found atop a pile of tree cookies, it was first brought to Mrs. Grimes by the children who discovered it. Maybe she knew something about it, they thought. She didn’t. Neither did the teachers. It was placed on display in the lobby, in hopes that one of the parents or other regular visitors would solve the mystery of its appearance. No luck.

To this day, the person who placed the artifact atop the tree cookies remains unidentified. Yet everyone knows that it had originally lived in the outdoor classroom and had been removed without permission (Smile).

Some of the possible reasons for its placement in the outdoor classroom (replacement, to be more accurate) are not mysterious. Mrs. Grimes has worked at the HOPE Center for 40 years and has been its chief executive for the past 11. For decades, she has maintained deep connections with Denver’s minority community, primarily the African-American population. A force for minority rights & positive social change, she is widely known and admired. The respect & gratitude she garners for her work might be one clue as to why the artifact ended up in her outdoor classroom.

Yes, it had been taken from the classroom. Under the circumstances, its disappearance, which went unnoticed at the time, was more accurately a premeditated act of borrowing. And once the artifact had been removed from the Nature Explore Classroom, it was altered before its return. We are sure everyone would agree that the person who removed, altered and replaced the artifact would be forgiven, even celebrated. If only the culprit was known.

The artifact is a broken tree cookie. This tree cookie is a perfect fit with the “Heart-Centered Teaching” workshop we attended.