Mt. Juliet has experienced rapid growth in recent years, and City Manager Kenny Martin decided something should celebrate the influx of visitors and the many more to come.
Martin created four unity trees, which are placed throughout Mt. Juliet at Mt. Juliet City Hall, Weston Drive near Bond Memorial Chapel, Walgreen’s on Lebanon Road and North Mt. Juliet Road near Wilson Bank & Trust.
The unity trees feature license plates from various states placed on each side of the wooden structure.
“I got the vision and idea after watching our city and community prosper and grow in so many ways,” Martin said. “In years past, the majority of people who lived in Mt. Juliet were from Mt. Juliet or Tennessee, whereas today, we have citizens who have moved here from all over the country and beyond.”
Martin said he feels the influx of citizens to Mt. Juliet is a blessing to the city.
“Knowing that many of the people who have moved here still hold their home states and countries close to their hearts, I thought the idea of creating these art pieces might be a neat way of showing all citizens that we are a community that welcomes people for all over the country and beyond,” said Martin, who hopes the trees serve as a reminder of their home.
“I call these art pieces unity trees, because we are a welcoming melting pot society, city, community built upon true family values and people from all over the country and beyond,” he said. “No matter where you are from, grew up or previously lived, you are welcome here, loved here and are family. So, when you see these poorly crafted art pieces, please know what they mean to me, us and to anyone moving to or visiting Mt. Juliet.”
Martin said he believes every piece of art should have a meaning and purpose and hopes the unity trees will send a message that “we are all one big extended family.”
By Xavier Smith