Springville Seniors Finish World’s Largest Puzzle

60,000 is a huge number. 60,000 of anything will take up a lot of space. In spite of such a daunting number of pieces, the Springville Senior Center decided to take on the monumental task of putting together the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle. This puzzle,  created by world renowned Utah artist Eric Dowdle, depicts a massive map of the world. This 60,000 piece behemoth is a staggering 8 feet tall and 29 feet long. This project took nearly three months, totaling 280 hours to put the puzzle together. 

Daryl Tucker headed up the project, suggesting it after hearing about other community groups that had put the puzzle together. The puzzle came in 60 bags, each containing its own 1,0000 piece section of the puzzle, in order to make the logistics of putting the puzzle together a little more manageable. 

Those who worked on the puzzle said that they loved the sense of purpose it gave them. They were able to spend time visiting together and became close to others they might not have thought to talk with otherwise. There were many who came in early and stayed late in order to work on the puzzle. As the puzzle moved closer to completion, the excitement built. 

The Springville seniors were not the first to put together the massive depiction of the world, but they may have been the first to put it together raised up off the ground. 

“We put it together in sections, and then laid it out on top of boards to get it ready to put all together,” Tucker explained.

Close up of one small part of the puzzle.

One of the seniors who worked on the puzzle said that most of the individual puzzles didn’t have straight edges, which made it extra challenging to put it together.

The puzzle was completed on Jan. 17, and people came from all over to see the monumental accomplishment. From members of the community, to news reporters, everyone was astounded by the dedication and patience the seniors in Springville put into the project. Many gathered around the massive piece of art and pointed out all the details from the little Utah easter eggs, to Delicate Arch, the St. George Latter-day Saint Temple, the University of Utah, and even a hot air balloon that proudly displayed the logo for Orem City. 

When asked about how the senior’s felt about the project, Tori Eaton, the Manager of the Springville Senior Center said “There was a great sense of purpose with the seniors working on the puzzle. They were invested in a big project and proud of their progress. There were also a lot of friendships made through the many hours they spent together.”

This project is a wonderful example of why senior centers are so beneficial to the communities they serve. Giving seniors a place to gather, socialize and retain a sense of purpose through working on meaningful things, gives them a reason to get up and get out into the world at a time of life that can be so isolating. 

The Springville Senior Center is happy to provide such a unifying and welcoming place for seniors to come and connect. Some of their upcoming events include planned trips to Shen-Yun in March and open Pottery Studio time. For more information on these activities, membership, or how you can support this wonderful service, go to springvilleseniorcenter.org, call 801-489-8738, or just stop in at 65 East 200 South in Springville between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Ariel Higgs
Ariel Higgs
Ariel Higgs is a married mother of four from Spanish Fork Utah. She enjoys writing, music, theatre, reading, and exploring the great outdoors. She has written for adoption.com and its affiliated websites and loves story telling in any form.

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