Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

10th Annual 'Trees for Peace' event

WINTER PARK—The City of Winter Park and the Multifaith Education Project announced the 10th annual Trees for Peace Interfaith Tree Planting Project, Tuesday, April 9, at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, 1050 W. Morse Blvd. Mayor Kenneth Bradley will begin the ceremony at 11:30 a.m. and the program will be led by Louise Franklin Sheehy, director of the Multifaith Education Project.

Over 100 Christian, Jewish and Muslim students and faculty, representing The Geneva Christian School, The Jewish Academy and The Leaders Preparatory School, will join together to plant trees for peace. In recognition of their commitment to work together in the spirit of unity, the students will plant 10 trees and bless them in traditional manner according to each faith. They will then celebrate the occasion with a picnic on the lawn of the park.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Park was chosen as the location for the 10th anniversary event based upon his legacy of peace and justice. According to Dr. King, “Men often fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are separated.”

The City of Winter Park’s Urban Forestry Management Division will supervise the students in planting the trees, one for each year of the “Trees for Peace” initiative, including an apple tree to symbolize Dr. King’s dedication to peace among people of diverse backgrounds. Dr. King once said, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” In addition, the division will donate a tree to each school so the students can hold a planting ceremony on their school property to remind them of this event for years to come.

This unique tree-planting project represents a continuing effort to encourage children to appreciate diversity while building positive relationships with people of other faiths. The “Trees for Peace” project is also dedicated to teaching students to be “stewards of the earth” by learning lessons about environmental responsibility from each faith and sharing them with one another.


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