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New Communitree Project Provides a ‘Hang Out’ Spot

by and on September 01, 2020 5:08 PM

BOALSBURG — Looking to provide a place in the community where people could “hang out” in their hammocks, Mariele Schechter dreamt up an interesting creation called a Communitree.

“A Communitree is a community hammock stand with the capacity to hold many people. The ultimate goal of this project is to encourage our community to literally ‘hang out’ with people who may be different from them, in an attempt to encourage our community to start important conversations and to embrace diversity in all that they do,” said Schechter.

And with the help from a $1,000 grant for 3 Dots, her idea has grown from a seed of a dream to a full-grown Communitree at Harvest Fields in Boalsburg. All it needs now is more people to branch out with their hammocks (from a safe social distance) and grow from each other’s diverse company.

The Communitree is made up of a series of poles that allows users to hangout in many different directions and heights and then branch out from the center pole, called the Peace Pole, which Schechter said, “symbolizes the oneness of humanity and our common hope for a world at peace.”

“This important detail emphasizes the true meaning and vision of the Communitree; To live (or hammock) among those that are different from you and to embrace diversity in your daily tasks,” said Schechter.

“The ultimate goal of her project is to encourage our community to literally ‘hang out’ with people who may be different from them, in an attempt to encourage our community to start important conversations and embrace diversity in their efforts around town. I can personally attest to some of my best conversations happening in a hammock,” said 3 Dots innovation director Spud Marshall.

Schechter was awarded the grant in 2018, and said the project took longer than she expected to come together, but she can’t think of a better time for it all to come together than during this difficult time of social distancing as it is a “safe space for relaxing, getting to know new people, self-reflection, and open conversation.”

She chose Harvest Fields as the location for the Communitree, "because it is my favorite place in State College to unwind, pray and reflect. It has a passion for cultivating community with its public disc golf course, hiking, and biking trails. The Communitree is set on a hilltop nestled between two still water ponds with magnificent views of sunsets over Happy Valley.”



This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.


Vincent Corso is writer for Town&Gown and the Centre County Gazette.
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