IHCC and Metro State University host tree planting project
Volunteers are needed to plant trees with representatives from Red Lake Tribal Nation on Tuesday, June 16 through Thursday, June 18. Gerten’s Nursery and Greenhouses are donating between 50-100 trees for planting on one acre of land adjacent to Red Lake Middle School. Varieties like Haralson, Haral Red and Honey Crisp trees will be planted since they can tolerate the colder climate.
Red Lake Nation is located across nine counties in northern Minnesota in a very isolated, hardship area on the Upper and Lower Red Lakes. Suicides are the highest cause of death in their community for members aged 15 – 19. The tribe has a population of between 7,000 to 10,000 people on a closed, dry reservation and are non-members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.
This project is designed to build connections and promote healthful foods. “This idea just took root–pun intended–because of the psychological benefits of gardening,” noted August Hoffman, Metro State University psychology instructor. “The community is reaching out to work with us. We hope this project will reinforce the community’s belief in the land and help tie people together.”
Renae Chapman, a student of Hoffman’s, majoring in Cultural Affairs and a member of Red Lake Nation, explained that bimaaddiziwin is the native word for “the good life”, or a “healthy way of life”–an opportunity to be your best and to break through adversity. Hoffman added, “Trees represent growth; community growth. It has been proven that communities that plant trees after a disaster tend to unite.”
Accommodations for volunteers are being provided by Red Lake Nation at Seven Clans Casino. Volunteers can expect to carpool and split the cost of gas.
For more information, contact:
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant. – Robert Louis Stevenson