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September 26, 2013

Garden dedication


The Wangari Maathai Trees and Garden near the Cathedral of Learning’s Fifth Avenue entrance were scheduled to be dedicated Sept. 25 as the University Times went to press.

Maathai earned a master’s degree in biology from Pitt in 1965 and, after spending several years studying abroad, returned to her native Kenya to find a deforested landscape that was threatening the local ecology as well as the livelihoods of farmers. She started the Green Belt Movement, which paid rural women for each tree they planted and kept alive. The project resulted in the planting of more than 51 million trees.

Wangari-MaathaiIn 2002, Maathai was elected to Kenya’s Parliament, where she voiced support for environmental conservation, equality and democracy. Maathai, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her work, died in 2011, but her Green Belt Movement continues.

The Wangari Maathai Trees and Garden includes two red maples that symbolize Maathai’s commitment to the environment, her founding of the Green Belt Movement and her roots in Kenya and in Pittsburgh. A flower garden between the trees features seasonal blooms planted in a circular shape, representing Maathai’s global vision and dedication to the women and children of the world. A petite ornamental maple tree in the middle of the garden signifies how one small seed can change the world.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 46 Issue 3

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