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A Growing Gift of Peace
Hiroshima Peace Tree Planted at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve
Post Date:04/22/2019 1:47 pm
In a celebration of Hillsboro’s Tree City USA designation and Hillsboro's Arbor Day, a Hiroshima Peace Tree was planted at Jackson Bottom Wetland Preserve on April 22. The sapling, grown from the seed of a 300-year-old ginkgo biloba tree, tells a story of resilience, hope and peace.
Hiroshima, Japan was devastated by the first atomic bomb dropped on August 6, 1945. In total, over 192,000 people died and 92% of the city’s buildings were destroyed or damaged. Yet more than 170 different trees around the city survived.
“We were told nothing would grow for 75 years however (the) trees put out new shoots,” says Akio Nishikori, a survivor who was in second grade when the bomb hit. “Everyone was really moved to see the green leaves.”
Nishikori is a member of Green Legacy Hiroshima. The organization, established in 2011, gathers seeds from these survivor trees and sends them, or their saplings, to partner cities around the world.
At present, seeds and saplings from these officially registered “A-Bomb survivor trees” can be found in 34 different countries. They stand as silent ambassadors, delivering a message of “destruction and recovery,” according to Green Legacy Hiroshima arborist, Chikara Horiguchi.
Dignitaries from the City of Hillsboro and invited members of the local Japanese community attended the planting ceremony at Jackson Bottom Wetland Preserve. The event celebrated the City’s 2018 designation as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, and Hillsboro's Arbor Day.
"We are honored and humbled to be the recipients and caretakers of this tree, which will stand as a symbol for peace and unity among the countries of the world," said Mayor Steve Callaway.
This planting is part of the City’s commitment to sustainable urban forestry and our Tree City USA status. A community tree planting event will be held later this fall.