In celebration of the 16th annual Peace Week in the City of Santa Maria, The Natural History Museum, Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley, and the Discovery Museum are participating in the week of festivities with a day for children to “plant” messages of peace.  On Saturday, September 15th all children are invited to visit the Discovery Museum at 3 pm to design their own message of peace.  At 4 pm the children and their peaceful creations will enjoy a fun procession down McClelland Street to the neighboring Natural History Museum where they will be part of a ceremony to hang their messages of peace on the two trees planted in front of that museum.  Inspired by Yoko Ono’s famous and moving “Peace Tree” projects she has done around the world, Santa Maria will be home to its very own Peace Trees after this event.

“As the Natural History Museum develops our new sustainable, and environmentally conscious native garden and landscaping plan, it seemed like a perfect time to model the Peace Tree idea in our community,” shares Georgia Schrager, Natural History Museum board member and Peace Week Committee member.  She goes on to share, “once these lovely messages of peace become affected by Mother Nature, we will take them down, turn them into mulch and use them to fortify the garden around the museum.  What a symbolic way for children—and their families—to see how their thoughts about peace will, literally, be planted in the ground helping peace to continue to grow.”  Leaders of the Discovery Museum and Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley agree that inviting children to consider what peace means to them and providing them a chance to give it a physical expression and opportunity to display it publicly will have a powerful impact on them and their families.  “We hope that children will want to visit their message of peace on the Peace Tree they helped create and be reminded of their message of peace long after this activity ends,” shares Al Rodriguez, Executive Director of Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley.

There is no charge to participate in this event and children who visit the Discovery Museum to create their message of peace, will have free admission—along with adults accompanying them—after 3 pm on September 15th.    All supplies and materials for this activity will be provided by the sponsoring organizations.

Peace Week begins on Friday, September 14th and consists of a diverse number of moving and engaging activities and programs throughout the City of Santa Maria.  Peace Week is sponsored by the People for Non Violence Committee of Marian Regional Medical Center.  For more information on all of the Peace Week activities, visit www.marianmedicalcenter.org or call 805-739-3106.  For more information on the Messages of Peace partner organizations visit www.naturalhistorysantamaria.com, www.fightingbacksmv.com, or www.smvdiscoverymuseum.org