Each year the seeds of some of the 170 trees that survived the nuclear bomb of 1945 are collected in Hiroshima. These seeds have been sent to almost thirty countries, and since 2012 they have germinated and grown in the Botanical Garden of the Universidad Austral de Chile, in Valdivia. From this initiative, we generated a digital platform with educational activities, www.legadoverde.cl.

Illustrations by Catalina Bu

www.legadoverde.cl is a website that offers activities for children ages 6 to 12, as well as guidelines for teachers or parents that propose ways to apply these activities in a classroom or at home. The activities seek to teach about peace through nature and propose creativity to understand historical processes, develop empathy and understand the human-environment relationship. All graphics and illustrations were made by chilean illustrator Catalina Bu, and designers from Fauna design studio.

Our team developed three different workshops: “The unexplored journey of a plant” proposes students to imagine, draw and then write a rescue mission and adventure behind saving a plant under any plausible threat and having to transport it to a new home – another country or even the moon – identifying what it needs and a team to keep it alive; “Story of a seed” teaches about the basic aspects of growth in the plant world and the different processes behind seed development; and the third workshop is “Correspondences for peace”, an activity that develops empathy and speaks of the human capacity to overcome difficulties.

Green Legacy Hiroshima is a joint initiative of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and the NGO ANT-Hiroshima, dedicated to spreading the seeds of trees that survived the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima in August 6th, 1945, during World War II. The initiative has sent seeds as peace ambassadors to more than 27 countries: Chile was one of the selected countries receiving the seeds in 2012 under the care of the Botanical Garden of the Universidad Austral de Chile. Today, these seeds have successfully grown into small trees thanks to the efforts of the Botanical Garden’s team: Mylthon Jiménez-Castillo, scientific director of the Botanical Garden, and Patricio Torres, of the Institute of Environmental and Evolutionary Sciences.

One of the trees growing in Chile, an Ilex rotunda (Kurogane holly or round leaf holly), was sent to the National Center ofContemporary Art Cerrillos to announce the initiative and launch this website. As a part of the launching event, the tree was accompanied by one thousand paper cranes, made by visitors of the center throughout the entire month that this plant was on display, an activity inspired by the old Japanese tale of Sadako Sasaki (1943-1955), who wished to make a thousand paper cranes-senbazuru– hoping these cranes would heal her illness, leukemia, caused by nuclear radiation. This story along with the cranes became a symbol of peace.

Along with the tree and cranes, the workshops available on the website were held and offered to all visitors of the center through the entire month of September.

*A project led by Fundación Mar Adentro with the collaboration of Universidad Austral de Chile, UACH Botanical Garden, National Council of Culture and the Arts of Chile and the National Center of Contemporary Art Cerrillos.

Catalina Bu creating the mural for the tree exhibition in Cerrillos Maya Errázuriz, our project coordinator receiving the plant alongside SAG (Agricultural and Livestock Government Services) in Cerrillos Activity pack distributed during website launching The first strings of the senbazuru Beatriz Bustos O., our Director of Art, Culture and Education together with the Embassador of Japan in Chile and the Director of the Cerrillos Center, Beatriz Salinas, during the opening ceremony of the launching event The first paper-crane workshop carried out with kids from local schools National Center of Contemporary Art Cerrillos