Over the weekend the Chicago Botanic Garden set up a traditional Japanese "Wishing Tree" to recognize the recent disaster in Japan and to give people a way to express their sympathies and well wishes. Messages were written on pieces paper that were affixed to the tree. Closer to home the Growing Station Community Garden in Pilsen set up their own wishing tree after being inspired by the Chicago Botanic Garden's gesture. "It's home-made but heartfelt, right?!," says Sallie Gordon, garden leader & co-founder of the community garden.
Over the weekend a volunteer group comprised of mostly young women from The Resurrection Project spent a day cleaning up the area around the community garden and were among the first people to leave messages on the community garden's tree. This afternoon I visited the community garden along with my 6-year-old nephew who had written his own message to the people of Japan. Some of the messages had been torn from the tree by the wind, so before placing our own messages we tried to replace as many as possible.
The Chicago Botanic Garden's Wishing Tree will be on display through Sunday, March 27. For those who would like to participate but can't make it to the Botanic Garden creating a wishing tree in your community is certainly a possibility. "There should be wishing trees all over the city," says Sallie.