By Jim Barry, member of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
In 2007, when I was president of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, we started to look ahead to celebrating our 100th year in 2013. We put out a call to our members to identify a grand gift we could make to the community to commemorate our centennial.
That seed grew into the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum, which opened this past September – a beautiful new natural space in the heart of the city, reclaimed from post-industrial land. It was indeed a grand undertaking – and some had their doubts that we could do it. But through it all, Rotary volunteers rolled up their sleeves to help usher the project along.
Each of the Rotary presidents succeeding me lent their enthusiastic support and made sure the arboretum was a continuing priority. Having been involved with the arboretum since the very beginning, I was so proud to give the invocation at the opening celebration this September, and to walk through the soon-to-be iconic stone arch with my family.
The arboretum is a gift to future generations and a testament to the power of Rotary to build relationships and make things happen.