Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Laurelhurst School Peace Garden Re-Dedication Celebration Tomorrow

Aki Kurose Peace Garden

Tomorrow from 10:30-10:45, Laurelhurst Elementary School with celebrate the redesigned Aki Kurose Peace Garden on the south playground (corner of 47th Ave NE and NE 45th Street).

The festive community celebration will honor the late Akiko Kurose, who taught at the school for many years and was also a peace activist.  The celebration will include a student "Peace Poem", a school-wide Vocal Concert and comments from Paul Kurose, the son of Aki Kurose.

The garden was originally dedicated in 1997 to Kurose, and has been recently beautified by a group of community volunteers, the Laurelhurst PTA, and financial support through the City of Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund.

The information says:

The garden has been brought back to life and is ready to provide quiet, peaceful respite to all those who enter. The new plants are in, the water issues have been remediated and, most important to landscape architect David Berleth's plan, three benches have been installed to allow for the contemplation and reflection that makes this small space so precious in today's busy, and sometimes non-harmonious, world.
This garden rejuvenation was in response to a letter written to Principal Kathy Jolly and signed by 80 students last June. The project is a tribute to the children, their voice and their wishes and dreams to enable the garden to fulfill it's original purpose.  
At school this Spring, a "peace curriculum" was taught to each class which included the history and origin of the garden as well as the kids brainstorming on the relevance and purpose for the garden going forward. When asked "why we need a peace garden?", a kindergartner said it best :"Because that is where they store the peace."  
The students and entire community have made more than 1300 Origami Cranes toward the symbolic gesture of a wish for Peace. A traditional Senbazuru was created with 1000 and the remaining cranes will fly in the garden from the center Japanese Maple tree.

In a letter dated August 1996, upon learning of the plans for the Peace Garden, Mrs. Kurose wrote: "My dream has been a peace Garden for every school, community and park throughout the world. As people see plants and trees from all over the world living in peace and harmony, may they, too, do so with the human population of the world... With the increased violence in our society, schools must take the lead in showing our students our commitment to Peace. The Peace Garden will be an outstanding symbol and message to students and the community that Peace is the Way."
This project came directly from the hearts and minds of our elementary students. Thanks to their vision and passion, this renewed wish for greater beauty and peace in our community has come true. Please join in our celebration!

Peace Garden

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