I found Scooter's Garden of Hope on accident, while driving through the Harambee neighborhood. I saw the colorful, totem pole-like pillars in the 2400 block of Buffum Street and drove toward them, only to find a beautiful garden with handmade peace flags, sculpture, painted benches and an abundant garden.
I later found out the garden was created by AWE (Artists Working In Education), the students at nearby Oliver Wendell Holmes School and The Scooter Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to raising awareness about gun violence and promoting peaceful conflict resolution.
The group was started by Susan Schmidt after her brother, popular Water Street bartender Scott "Scooter" Schmidt was killed on the block while walking his dog.
"What began as tragedy has become a source of hope and inspiration to Milwaukee youth," reads the website.
This is true. For the few minutes I stood in the garden, I felt uplifted by the vibrant art and lush greenery. We're all destructive and creative, but committing to the latter is the best we can do during our tick-tocking time here.
Let's plant more hope gardens, Milwaukee.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.