Press Release

Menominee Nation to Commemorate the 51st Earth Day with Initiatives focused on The Next 50 Years

Menominee Nation to Commemorate the 51st Earth Day with Initiatives focused on The Next 50 Years

The Menominee Tribe Celebrates Earth Day with an Eye Toward the Future

After a year fraught with social divisions and a global pandemic, the Menominee Nation and EARTHDAY.ORG are joining together to usher in the next 50 years of Earth Day and a new era of peace, justice and climate restoration. 

The Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin is over 350 square miles and boasts the oldest sustainably managed forest in the United States at over 150 years old. The United Nations has recognized the Menominee Community for balancing land use with sustainable practices to preserve forests for future generations. 

Now, with the 51st Earth Day taking place this month, the Menominee Indian Tribe is continuing that tradition with multiple projects that will look toward keeping their community sustainable and environmentally sound for The Next 50 Years. 

The Menominee pass down the importance of taking care of your community from generation to generation. Keeping the youth environmentally literate and passionate is key, and this Earth Day that practice will continue with the planting of 5,000 trees around various local schools. 

In addition to the 5,000 trees, a symbolic white pine “Peace Tree” will be planted on Earth Day in Keshena, Wisconsin. The Peace Tree will act as a symbol of peace and reconciliation following the division and hardship we’ve seen in our society and our environment.

A partnership with EARTHDAY.ORG is also underway to help bring the Menominee’s deep knowledge of forestry into the education system. K-12 students throughout the U.S. will learn about trees, the science of sustainable forestry, and the vital work that needs to be done to help build back and maintain our forests.  Bringing reforestation and sustainable forest management education to the next generation will plant seeds as powerful as the trees themselves. 

The Menominee Tribal Enterprises, who run the sustainable forest and are owned and operated by the Menominee Tribe, have worked with college students from nearby universities, including the College of Menominee Nation and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, to develop this material to send to local schools. 

Adrian Miller is the President of the Menominee Tribal Enterprises, and is eager to share the values that are so vital and intrinsic to the Menominee. 

“Our management practices have resulted in an extraordinary healthy and productive emerald forest whose boundaries can be seen from space. Our Tribal timber is as special as it is exemplary. It’s philosophical, cultural and spiritual framework speaks eloquently to the Native American connection with Mother Earth.” 

EARTHDAY.ORG Board Chair Gerald Torres shares the excitement of being able to help spread the deep-rooted knowledge that the Menominee have applied for centuries.

“People need to remember, and what the Menominee Nation is doing with this project, is to exemplify one little piece of missing knowledge. When the Europeans landed here, what they saw – they thought – was a wilderness; untracked, untamed. In fact, what they were seeing was a managed landscape that had been managed by indigenous people for millennia. That knowledge on how to manage a landscape that appeared to the European eye as wild is being brought back into action and we are seeing that with the Menominee Tribe, with Menominee Tribal Enterprises, and the outreach they have made across the country to communicate this effort.”

After Earth Day, the partnership with Menominee Nation and EARTHDAY.ORG continues. Along with the ongoing education initiatives, later in the year another Peace Tree will be planted in Washington D.C. The planting in our nation’s capital is scheduled for October.

Following the D.C. planting, other Peace Trees will also be planted in other major cities around the country in an effort to bring awareness. Each planting will include a ceremony where the history and importance of the Peace Tree will be shared.    

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is Restore Our Earth, and the partnership between EARTHDAY.ORG and Menominee Nation will help that restoration greatly, by planting trees for tomorrow and educating our children for the future. 

EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission is to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day (1970), EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 150,000 partners in nearly 192 countries to build environmental democracy. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Learn more at: