Love is in the air – or should I say ground – thanks to a Mattapoisett man who used the giant field off Driscoll Lane as his canvas for a project that was three years in the making.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Bruce Rocha, Sr. mowed a massive heart into the grass as a love note to the town of Mattapoisett and a declaration of love to his wife of 62 years.

Bruce Rocha, Sr. is a Mattapoisett resident, born and bred. His father was, too. The Rocha family used to farm the field off of Driscoll Lane, but now that Rocha is older, he has little interest in tending to crops and livestock.

“But I still like to take care of the field,” he said. “I thought it would be a good idea for the community if I mowed a heart, so it could get picked up by Google Maps.”

Rocha knew that if this creation was to going to be visible on Google Maps, it would need to be big.

It took him three years to map out the pattern on a scale model and map out the mowing pattern on the field, which resulted in a beautiful heart 250 feet across with Christmas trees planted in the middle.

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“I plan on keeping up with it,” he said. “Christmas trees take about seven years to mature and it’s all part of the design.”

The process took some time, but Rocha wanted to do something special for Mattapoisett.

“I really wanted to do this for the community. I use Google Maps for traveling, and wouldn’t it be cool if someone looked up Mattapoisett and saw a heart in the middle of town?” he said.

The heart will remain off Driscoll Lane for anyone to enjoy, but Rocha is clear on one thing: his own heart belongs to Bette-Jean.

“I dedicated (the heart) to my wife of 62 years,” he said.

When asked what the secret was to a long, happy marriage, he gave two secrets to live by.

“One, always listen," he said. "And two, never think that you can load the dishwasher correctly."

After three long years of planning, his work is finally complete, and people are welcome to walk through it and enjoy Rocha’s message to his beloved town. Unfortunately, you will have to wait for the snow to melt.

Oh, and he made it to Google Maps. Mission accomplished.

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