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Chattanooga's Commemorative Forest
Sculpture Fields and the Sister City Association of Chattanooga partnered to create Chattanooga’s Commemorative Forest. The Hamm, Germany, tradition of the Hochzeitswald, the Wedding Forest, where couples purchase trees to commemorate their nuptials, will be duplicated in Chattanooga to include commemorative tree plantings in memory of a loved one, to honor someone or as a gift of celebration.
“The Hochzeitswald, a cultural tradition in Hamm, has become so popular that the area has been expanded several times with more than a thousand trees planted to commemorate occasions other than weddings,” explained Karen Claypool, president of the Sister City Association of Chattanooga. “The Hochzeitswald now is a combination of nature, artwork and recreation. Several well-known sculptures are found in the park.”
“Sculpture Fields is an ideal setting for the Commemorative Forest,” said Kathie Fulgham, interim executive director of Sculpture Fields. “Our 33-acre park eventually will be filled with 75 monumental works of sculpture from all over the world. Partnering with Hamm will add another international cultural facet to our beautiful setting.”
Thirty-nine years ago Chattanooga entered into a sister city partnership with Hamm, Germany. Chattanooga has a total of seven sister cities, but Hamm continues to be Chattanooga’s strongest partner. The two cities have participated in numerous activities, including annual youth exchanges, annual visits of adults, art exchanges, pen pal relationships and cross-cultural internships.
The price per tree is $395. The species of the tree and the placement will be selected by the landscape designer for the park in context of the long-term vision for Sculpture Fields.