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Posts Tagged ‘Open Spaces and Healing Initiative’

Cemeteries: The Modern Day Urban Park

Cemeteries: The Modern Day Urban Park

TALES FROM PIONEERS AND SOLDIERS MEMORIAL CEMETERY 187th IN A SERIES By OLGA ACUNA Photo by Megan Voorhees What began as a class project addressing environmental injustice in the East Phillips neighborhood steadily flourished into an Arbor Day celebration at the notable Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery on the intersection of Cedar Ave and Lake St. On Saturday May 1st, over 60 volunteers from the surrounding community gathered at the cemetery to aid in the planting of over 50 trees throughout the 27 acres of green space.  On one of the warmest days of the Spring season, this resilient intergenerational group of volunteers worked through the heat together to nurture the Earth by planting trees with help from arborists from the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation. Volunteers later gathered around for an ethereal blessing of the tree performance which included two deer puppets, bells, and poetry all done by the Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts. The event rounded off with the enjoyment of a collective meal in the shade with food from Pham”™s Rice Bowl. Volunteers mingled with one another, took photos with Elmer the Elm Tree, and watched out for an appearance from Fern and Lily, the local cemetery deer. One participant commented on the event saying, “It was powerful to be in this neighborhood that was so impacted by the uprising after George Floyd's murder and to do something meaningful. When I visit these trees in the future, it will help me remember the awfulness of police brutality in our state but also help me connect to the hope there is in the community.” Another, an 11-year-old, stated, “I'm scared of climate change and I know planting trees helps. Thank you!”  Photo by Megan Voorhees Open Spaces and Healing Initiative arose from the grand challenge course offered at the University of Minnesota, Innovation for the Public Good: Design for a Disrupted World. In this project-based course, [...]

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