Thanks to Cherokee Service for their support.
Student groups are coming together at Two Rivers High School to install a peace garden. The $23,000 project includes a peace pole, Little Free Library, benches, and garden area next to the main entrance and adjacent to the flag pole. Separate from the recent building improvements, this project is supported through community donations.
A dedication event is planned for Monday, October 11 at 4 p.m.
Design and Inspiration
The peace garden is inspired by a desire to bring people together after tension in the community from the murder of George Floyd and the contentious renaming process. The student groups involved include the Gender Identity Sexuality Alliance (GISA), LiveGreen, and Key Club.
“We brought different groups together who normally don’t work together,” said Ann Lindberg, the district’s chemical health coordinator and advisor to GISA.
Multiple groups are stepping up, including $5,000 from the South Robert Street Business Association and $2,500 from the Kiwanis Club of West St. Paul. Students have also been raising money and contributing to the project in their own way. Sophomore Quinn Hendel built four benches for the garden as part of an Eagle Scout project. Students will also be planting and maintaining the garden, which will be an ongoing project.
The peace pole proclaims, “May peace prevail on earth,” in four languages—English, Spanish, Somali, and Dakota Sioux. Those languages were chosen as the four most common at Two Rivers High School.
The project has worked with the district’s Native American consultant, Allicia Waukau-Butler, to include traditional native plants, such as prairie sage, white cedar, sweetgrass, and Midewiwan sacred tobacco.
How to Donate
Donations are still being accepted to raise the remaining $6,000 and finish the project. A number of sponsorship and dedication opportunities exist, including paver bricks ($100), rocks ($200), trees ($400), and benches ($500).
If you’re interested in donating, contact Ann Lindberg. Checks can be made out to “Two Rivers Peace Garden Committee” and sent to the high school care of Ann Lindberg, Attn: Peace Garden at 1897 Delaware Ave., Mendota Heights, MN 55118.
Sept. 14, 2021 Update: Ground Breaking
There will also be a ground-breaking ceremony on Thursday, September 16 at 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 11, 2021 Update: Dedication Ceremony
On Monday, October 11 a crowd gathered to dedicate the peace garden at Two Rivers High School.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow,” Ann Lindberg said, quoting Audrey Hepburn (and noting that some in the audience wouldn’t know who that is).
Quinn Hendel, who created the benches, called the garden a “source of strength for our school.”
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