Peace Tree takes root in Milwaukee
MSOE’s University Scholars partner with Menominee Tribal Enterprises, Milwaukee Recreation to plant symbolic tree and unveil community mural in Pulaski Playfield
A 10-foot white pine from the Menominee Tribal Enterprise was planted and a mural by community artist Rozalia Singh was unveiled on Milwaukee’s east side in Pulaski Playfield, 1840 N. Pulaski St., on Friday, Oct. 8.
The event included performances by the Wolf River Group tribal drum team; remarks by Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, MSOE President Dr. John Walz, MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith P. Posley, Nels Huse of the Menominee Tribal Enterprises, Arvind Gopalratnam of the Milwaukee Bucks and tribal drummer Bernard Doud; Native American (Indigenous Peoples) prayer and blessing of the tree; and unveiling of the mural entitled “Growing Together.”
Milwaukee Recreation, Menominee Tribal Enterprises (MTE) and Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) partnered with Singh to work with the neighborhood on a mural for Pulaski Playfield. This initiative is the result of a year-long multifaceted project of MSOE students working with MTE to promote social unity, environmental consciousness and youth empowerment.
The mural celebrates the community’s diversity and will be accompanied by a white pine—an Iroquois symbol of Great Peace, of a new unity together, changing and growing as a nation. Milwaukee’s peace tree is the first of many more that will be planted in neighboring cities (Appleton, Kenosha and Chicago), starting a week of community gatherings around Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The trees come from the Menominee Forest in northeast Wisconsin, which has been sustainably managed by the Menominee Tribe for more than 150 years and is a premier example of forest management in the world.
The event on Oct. 8 was a culmination of a series of year-long projects for students in MSOE’s University Scholars Honors Program and representatives from MTE. MTE’s goal is to not only perform forest management to provide maximum diversity of the forest, habitat diversity, and optimize growth, but also to educate the greater community on the importance of sustainable forestry, and to promote peace and unity.
MSOE’s University Scholars Honors Program combines experiential learning, real-world projects and community service. Their work with MTE allowed them to explore innovative ideas, build relationships on campus and beyond, and develop the MSOE Mindset. MSOE’s CREATE Institute and Milwaukee Recreation were instrumental in bringing the peace tree projects to life.