​Congratulations Columbia on being named a Reader's Digest


Kindness Changes Everything


Children's Grove seeks to educate:

*about the mental health challenges our youth face

*about using kindness as a pathway to greater mental and emotional health

*about how to recognize a youth in crisis and connect them with a professional health care provider

​*about how to build commUNITY through inclusivity, respect for one another's differences and compassion for others

*about mental illness in order to build awareness and a bridge between physical and mental health and the stigmas and lack of understanding that surround these. We sponsor 3-4 trainings a year in Youth Mental Health First Aid, an internationally recognized 8-hr course. 

​Education projects include a Pre-K Kindness Curriculum that has been workshopped to 30 area child care professionals, Youth Mental Health First Aid Courses, a Kindness Library project, and the Youth Kindness Ambassador Project within our area schools.

The Kindness Project:

Visual reminders of the importance of kindness

Kindness Tree​


The signature KINDNESS TREE, a Butterfly Magnolia, represents goodwill in all of human nature.  There are approximately 60 Kindness Trees now in Columbia, MO and surrounding Boone County. Find the KINDNESS TREES at Stephens Lake Park in the Children's Grove, at the University of Missouri Nursing School, Hickman High School, Battle Elementary, Alpha Hart Benton, Father Tolton HS,  Hallsville Primary, Ronald McDonald House, Columbia Area Career Center, Cosmos Park and many other places.

Help us spread the Kindness Butterfly Magnolia throughout Columbia. 

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions and the roots spring up and make new trees.

        Amelia Earhart


Memorial & Heritage Butterfly Bench

This beautiful iron-forged butterfly bench represents the transformation of a community when kindness becomes the operating behavior. It acts as a "buddy bench" at Hallsville Primary, a memorial bench at Ronald McDonald House, and a commitment to the health and healing of children at the South Providence Medical Park. At Stephens Lake, in the Children's Grove, it is a playful ornament in a child's  garden designated as a remembrance for all children that have met harm in any way. These benches represent kindness and the nurturing given by our community and that of loved ones to the well-being of children everywhere.

The arts are both a vehicle for self-expression of a child's innermost being and a vehicle for spreading the message of kindness, understanding, and tolerance throughout our community. Children's Grove explores partnerships with other organizations seeking to make Columbia an oasis of nurture. Art Contests in 2014, 2015, 2016 and a photography contest in 2016 and 2017 gave adults and children expression about diversity, kindness, understanding, transformation and inclusivity. Partnering with Odyssey Chamber Music Series to produce Kids@Heart, a concert for children, featured children singing, dancing, and reading poetry with a theme of kindness and diversity. 

Children's Grove welcomes collaborative projects and original ideas as well as volunteers who have a little or a lot of time to give. We all have the ability to be Kindness Ambassadors in our own unique ways. We'd love to hear about you and your ideas!

Kindness Trees & Butterfly Benches

Children's Grove is seeking to plant a Kindness Tree or place a butterfly friendship bench at every school in Boone County as a reminder of the importance of treating one another with respect and kindness and being inclusive of fellow students. These trees and benches are also at hospitals, institutions of higher education, parks and businesses because the message is for everyone. 

Some trees and benches have been placed as memorials to someone so kindly loved and others to honor spouses, children and grandchildren who add joy to life's journey.  For more information, contact info@childrensgrove.org


The Children's Grove

The Children's Grove at Stephens Lake Park  was dedicated on May 4, 2013 . Serving as a symbol of our community's commitment to promote the safety and nurturing of our youth through education on mental health, the Grove is an arbor culture development of peace, tranquility and whimsy.  This destination garden draws people to its climate of beauty and to its message that well-being is achieved through adequate support.  When visitors depart, the message is carried with them as a butterfly carries pollen from flower to flower.


Arts and Kindness