Dec. 15, 2017

How do you define peace? 

The students of Indianapolis Public Schools have focused their efforts this holiday season on celebrating peace within our city — through trees.  The annual Forest of Peace opened Friday, Dec. 8, at 8:30 p.m. at Shortridge High School, 3401 N. Meridian St.

Forest of Peace Ornament

The display, which is open to the public, runs through Feb. 1 at Shortridge. Viewing is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

All IPS schools were invited to participate in Forest of Peace by designing a tree that symbolizes their interpretation of peace through the type of tree, ornaments and other decorations chosen. The individual trees — a mixture of real and artificial — provide a varied and unique perspective of peace through the eyes of our city’s youth. 

“The creativity and expression from our students truly communicates the spirit of the season,” said Shortridge art teacher Amanda Cory. “It is inspiring to see the trees every day and to admire the passion and focus that it took to decorate these trees.”

A total of 17 trees were submitted for this year’s display, including three from different departments from Shortridge. Students from Rousseau McClellan Montessori School 91 also participated.

Ava, a 5th-grader at School 91, defines peace as “calm, being nice to people, being calm with what you are doing, accepting things, and treating people the way you want to be treated.”

She said her school’s tree was “made curly to show that everyone has their own way to go in their own direction.”

Friday’s opening Forest of Peace was followed the school’s holiday concert and included hot chocolate and caroling.