St. Agatha's Green Ribbons

Submitted by Derek Alton on August 3, 2012 - 8:24pm
Community, tragedy, support

The other day I went to visit my parents in Baden (for those who do not know Baden is a small town located just outside Kitchener- Waterloo).  As I got near Baden I started seeing green ribbons everywhere.  They were tied to traffic lights, lampposts, mail boxes, basketball nets, store fronts and benches.  Almost every house within the community had them.  This is interest I thought; I wonder what it is all about.  When I asked my family about it I learned about the story of Lydia Herrle.


Lydia Herrle is a 13 year old girl who lived in St. Agatha (right beside Baden).  One day while getting of her school bus she was struck by a garbage truck.  She was immediately air lifted to Sick Kids hospital in Toronto where she remained in a coma for over a month with severe trauma to the brain.  She is currently on a long road to recovery though it is uncertain how much damage has been done by the accident. 


What is truly remarkable is how the community of St. Agatha and the surrounding area rallied around her and her family.  Her classmates marched in the St. Agatha Victoria Day parade to support.  Most notable though is the green ribbon campaign.


To show their support for the family people started tying green ribbons on the front of their property.  It started out with just a few people but quickly spread.  Now St. Agatha and Baden are covered in green ribbons.  You drive down any street and almost every household has at least one green ribbon.  On main streets business’s have ribbons as well, some of themaccompanied by a sign of support.  But the ribbons go much further then Baden and St. Agatha, the surrounding countryside is also dotted with ribbons as far as 30km away.


Driving through the area, I was overwhelmed by the sense of community support and it brought tears to my eyes.  It is truly amazing what community can do.


For more on this, check out these articles:

A blog giving updates on her condition:


Local family business and community care

I work at Herrle's Farm Market, which Lydia's family owns and runs, and the outpouring of compassion and care for her and them has been truly amazing to witness. I have often been struck by how much community support they are receiving, and completely deserve, but which so many others in tragic situations do not receive. I think it is a powerful testimony to the value of local businesses--many people feel deeply connected to Lydia's accident and wellbeing because they shop at Herrle's Farm Market, which has always emphasized its family-owned values, local produce and local community. It has created a network of support which most of us in North America no longer have, but reveals that the basis and desire for that community care is still there, ready to be nurtured.