On Monday, a Juneau Assembly committee authorized the local chapter of Veterans for Peace and the Juneau Urban Forestry Partnership to do some new landscape work on the peace sign at the end of Commercial Boulevard.
In January, KTOO told you the story behind the huge peace sign carved out of the foliage on the hill. That was the story with surveyor and guerrilla artist Garrith McLean explaining how he laid out the symbol back in 2008.
“It wasn’t anything political,” McLean had said. “Art for art’s sake, you could say.”
The new work will be on the up-and-up. The groups plan to enlist volunteers to prune some of encroaching vegetation, and to plant spruce seedlings in the footprint of the peace sign. Eventually, they expect the spruce will outgrow and contrast with the existing alders on the hillside.
Gene Miller is a retired forester and member of both groups.
“People will begin to notice, we think, greening up of the spruce trees in about 5 years, because spruce that are well cared for will grow about 18 inches a year,” Miller said. “Most of us won’t be around long enough to see the full outcome.”
He said spruce trees can live as long as 800 years.
The timeline for the work isn’t set, but they’re aiming for this summer.
“Our vision is that the peace sign will persist, and particularly the children in the community today that hear about it as adults maybe 50 years from now, some of them will be coming back to Juneau and say, ‘Oh, I remember when —’ that type of thing,” Miller said.
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