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Why Are There Tiny Doors On Chula Vista Trees?

A local man builds them to remind neighbors to be kind to each other

You may have seen them in Chula Vista: tiny doors pinned onto the bark of trees.

Neighbors have posted to social media wondering what they are: Gnome doors? Fairy entrances? Keebler Elf homes, perhaps? 

The man responsible for building and mounting the doors on the trees in the WindingWalk community has now come forward. 

"My hope is as we walk, run, or ride, we can all show kindness and share a smile," said Benjamin Felix said. 

The simple message of positivity is encouraging neighbors to smile at each other and share a wave when they walk by. 

Felix put up the first door on a tree near his house about eight months ago. He has since put up a second door and plans to place a third on a tree nearby. 

"I enjoy making them and seeing other people appreciate them," he said. 

Felix, a fifth grade teacher, said he decided to come forward because he noticed some children throwing rocks at one of the doors he put up. 

"I was not angry," he said. "But told myself if I ever saw them again, I would invite them to make a door." 

He added at first he was planning to stay anonymous, but he felt that it was important for the parents of the community to know why he was making the doors. 

"I was concerned that parents would hear of a man approaching the kids," said Felix. "I just want parents to know it's me trying to promote something positive." 

He said he did see the children again, and they appeared to be fixing the damage that they caused, even adding to the display with a chair figurine. 

"I wanted the kids to appreciate what goes into making the door and even put a positive message on it," said Felix. 

Felix is self-taught and makes the doors using wood, paint, and a jigsaw and sandpaper. 

"I hope to eventually invite interested members of the community to make some doors and spread kindness," he said. 

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