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Ukiah High students unveil Singing Tree of Climate Solutions mural

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Ukiah High students unveil Singing Tree of Climate Solutions mural

The Singing Tree of Climate Solutions mural at Ukiah High School. (Curtis Driscoll—Ukiah Daily Journal)

Ukiah High School students in Eveline Rodriguez’s French classes on Tuesday unveiled their mural that focuses on the issue of climate activism, called the Singing Tree of Climate Solutions.

The climate mural unveiling was timed to coincide with climate change protests from around the world. Students from the U.S. and around the globe have skipped classes and raised awareness about what climate change will mean for their generation. The United Nations also held a Youth Summit on Sept. 21 to talk with global leaders and come up with possible solutions.

The students worked on the mural in the Spring of 2019, and they put it up in the fall. The Singing Tree Mural is part of the Singing Tree Mural Project, an on-going international mural series of 80 murals so far made with 19,500 people from 52 countries. The mural honors four trees: the oak, the redwood, the madrone and willow, and includes Mother Earth crying and animals from the area like the Monarch Butterfly.

The bottom of the mural shows nature thriving with plants and animals, while one of the trees is a female figure saying no to climate change and working to educate girls about stewardship of the Earth. Other themes include plant-based diets, food waste, the hope of youth, and alternative energy. People can also buy small prints of the mural for $20, and it costs $10 for students. Email eveline.rodriguez1@gmail.com for more information.

Artists and project leader Laurie Marshall gave them the structure of the mural, and the students expanded the structure and came up with the design of having four trees and other parts of the mural. They also used the Top 10 climate solutions from Project Drawdown, a research organization that identifies the best global climate solutions, and used that to generate imagery. Marshall was proud of the unique representation the students came up with and the ways to communicate it.

“I’m so proud of how they let in the information, which has been painful, about what’s going on with the Earth and how the Earth is suffering,” Marshall said.

Artist Lili Lopez helped the students work on the mural and was proud to see that their hard work created a beautiful mural. She said that although the students were at first shy around each other, they worked together to come up with different ideas.

“No matter what environment or what school or what issues schools have, that longing for community and working together, it always overpowers whatever is happening,” Lopez said.

The students from the AP French class and French 3 class also collaborated about their fears of climate change to write this poem:

The Earth is slowly dying

But nobody is crying

This Earth is our mother; it takes care of us,

It is time to do our part, and be conscientious

The Earth does not belong to us; we belong to it

The least we could do is take action and admit

We can’t turn away from what we’ve done

Our carbon is burning and blocking the sun

We always want to have it all

But grab too much and down we’ll fall

The Earth is slowly dying

But nobody is crying

We should care for the Earth and not push her away

For she needs us now yet we roam astray

Only after the climate’s warmed and the icebergs melt

Will humanity’s horrible impact finally be felt

One easy answer is composting food waste.

Let’s return the food to the soil, its original state.

The sun is also a powerful solution

Zero carbon, and a positive evolution

Education is our best tool to bring awareness

Girls, boys, women, men, let’s stop being careless

Because the Earth is slowly dying

But almost nobody is crying

When will we learn that our actions have consequences

We should fight for clean air and stop sitting on benches

The youth are starting to understand that notion

Everyone applauds to their efforts and motivation

We must all unite and fight for the common cause

Together we can, together we have claws

By Curtis Driscoll | cdriscoll@willitsnews.com | Ukiah Daily Journal
PUBLISHED: September 25, 2019 at 3:40 pm | UPDATED: September 26, 2019 at 12:40 pm