Sonoma’s ’tree of possibilities’

A metalwork collaboration spearheaded by Teen Services Sonoma is now on display at Operation Bicycle on Highway 12, as a tree made from recycled bicycle parts and culinary items dubbed “The Tree of Possibilities,” was unveiled on Wednesday, Aug. 5. According to metal sculptor Marty Munson, the “Tree of Possibilities” is a culmination of tools from both the Teen Services Lovin’ Oven and Operation Bicycle programs.

The 13-foot sculpture is made entirely from recycled culinary objects and bicycle parts the team found after a “treasure hunt” in local recycling plants. Hanging from the tree are spoons and metal leaves, which have been imprinted with hopes and dreams of the community's youth. Additionally, kinetic elements were added to the tree, as the wheels from which the leaves hang from are able to spin.

Sculptor Munson did not work alone however, as two teens, Alondra Perez and Leila Whitney, assisted in the creation of the project. “I was taking care of a lot of the welding parts,” said Perez. “We needed to ensure it was sturdy and would resist weather changes. I also worked on the leaves to make sure that teens' voices were heard.”

In a Teen Services press release, Executive Director Becky Jo Peterson explained how great the team worked together. “Marty was an amazing mentor to the teens, and we hope the community will enjoy the sculpture and the words of the teens in the Valley,” she said. Some of these words include, “Love,” “Explore,” “Courage,” “Be kind,” and “Be awesome.”

The trio began the project at the beginning of March, and due to the pandemic, the team had to take a pause during the quarantine. Munson completed the project on his own during the shelter in place order. Despite the short time they had together, the team enjoyed working with each other. “All the people working on the project were ones you could get along with,” said Perez. “It was very fun and collaborative.” Munson echoed these sentiments emphasizing, “The girls were a great help and very fun to work with.” Perez will be pursuing her interest in engineering, as she is headed to Missouri this fall for an engineering internship with ThermAvant Technologies.

Over the course of the project, video producer and journalist Russell Johnson documented the construction of the tree. “It was great to tell the story of the sculpture coming together under Marty Munson who shared with the youth team the secretive process including stamping, welding, fabricated, and balancing used recycled culinary equipment and bicycle parts,” said Johnson.

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