Ald. Russell Stamper, II
Press Release

First “Uptown Community Garden of Peace Picnic”

Supervisor Stamper Joining Effort to Plant Positive Seeds in Community Garden

By - Jul 30th, 2013 04:26 pm

(Milwaukee) – Milwaukee County Board Supervisor Russell Stamper II will join the Uptown Crossing Neighborhood Association and the surrounding neighborhood for the first “Uptown Community Garden of Peace Picnic”. This inaugural event will take place Saturday, August 3, from Noon to 4 p.m. The community garden is located at 2321 N. 45th St (adjacent to Walgreens).

After hearing of the death of her grandson’s friend, Russell Setum, and continuing to witness the deterioration of her community due to crime, Tina Holst, President of the Uptown Crossing Neighborhood Association, found it imperative to unite the community through a positive initiative.

“We want to shine a light on the families of victims of violent crimes,” Holst said. “This garden allows us to do that by representing peace as opposed to destruction. In this garden of peace, we are growing stuff as opposed to tearing stuff down, which is unfortunately occurring in our streets.”

Russell Setum was murdered outside of his home last April, just blocks from the community garden. His mother Leona witnessed her son’s murder while pleading for the gunmen to spare his life. As a result, she suffered a gunshot wound to her foot.

The Garden of Peace will also feature a Cherry tree, affectionately named “Russell’s Hope for Peace”. Leona Setum will be in attendance to cut the ribbon on the tree dedicated to her late son.

Supervisor Stamper welcomed the opportunity to engage in community building through positive entities, such as the community garden.

“It warms my heart that community members are coming together to present a visual representation of their commitment to a stronger and safer community,” Supervisor Stamper said. “This garden will serve as a positive reminder of the beauty and life that our neighborhoods possess. As growth occurs in this garden, so will we collectively grow our neighborhoods forward.”

Walgreens has been a pivotal sponsor in this project with the donation of supplies. Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines helped acquire the lot for the garden. Ann Knoedler, Vice President of Uptown Crossing Neighborhood Association, serves as the Chairperson for the community garden. Other key sponsors include the Milwaukee Urban Garden, Waterworks, Victory Gardens and the Sherman Park Community Association.

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