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Handwritten hopes and dreams multiply on bike trail tree

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Handwritten hopes and goals multiply on bike path tree

Space children remodeled a cottonwood close to Riley right into a ‘wishing tree’
Photograph by Joel Patenaude
The Riley Wishing Tree stands alongside the Navy Ridge State Path.

If given the chance to share your most heartfelt needs publicly however anonymously, would you?

Scores of individuals have already stated “sure” by jotting down their hopes and goals on playing cards and tying them to string that partially encircles an enormous, outdated cottonwood tree west of Madison.

The Riley Wishing Tree, which has its personal Facebook page, stands on the north facet of the Navy Ridge State Path about 1.5 miles west of the unincorporated city of Riley. The tree is adjoining to the path at an intersection of three parcels, two privately owned and the third owned by the Wisconsin Division of Pure Assets. The DNR mows the small casual relaxation space instantly across the tree.

Began in late July by a gaggle of younger individuals from the realm, the undertaking has since attracted dozens of playing cards with handwritten needs for the well being of members of the family to enhance, for world peace and, in a single case, an 8-year-old’s want for a pet turtle.

“It’s our secrets and techniques, you realize, form of waving within the wind. I feel it’s profound,” says Marca Andriesse, a neighborhood yoga teacher and actual property agent, who retains on the base of the tree a watertight plastic field stocked with clean playing cards and markers.

Wishes On The Wishing Tree

Photograph by Joel Patenaude

Andriesse first introduced the thought as an artwork undertaking to the Mount Horeb Center Schoolers Journey Membership she organizes. Greater than a 12 months earlier she visited a wishing tree in Portland and was moved by the numerous uplifting messages held on it.

“It’s simply stunning and I used to be so impressed by it,” she recollects. “It simply felt like a small, easy factor with a robust impact.”

Then this summer time — after having to shut her brick-and-mortar yoga studio in Mount Horeb due to the coronavirus and seeing so many younger individuals unable to get collectively — she says the Portland wishing tree got here to thoughts once more.

“I simply felt like this undertaking would give them slightly hope. And in addition a way of neighborhood as a result of all people is so remoted,” she says.

Folks of all ages and a number of ethnicities — some needs are written in languages apart from English — have embraced the undertaking by studying the playing cards already there earlier than including their very own.

“The opposite day I noticed an older couple studying all of the tags. I feel it’s ageless, actually,” Andriesse says. “The children had been tremendous into it and now I’m seeing adults actually into it.”

Joel Patenaude is affiliate editor at Madison Journal.

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