Jake and “The Wally Tree” – Eighth Wish Machine Grant!
Jake is dedicated to planting trees in his community of Ann Arbor, Michigan, to sustainably and positively impact the planet. In return, Jake wishes to celebrate Wally Wojack - beloved Forest Family member and Sherwood Forest’s original Lorax - by planting a tree in Sherwood Forest to honor his legacy.
“My wish to Electric Forest this year involved planting a tree in my community in Ann Arbor, Michigan to which HQ would plant their own tree in Sherwood Forest in memory of the incredible man who started it all – Wally Wojack.
Wally embodied everything that the Forest stands for – kindness, radical acceptance and ceaseless positivity. Ever since visiting the ranch that is now Double JJ Resort back in 1950, he has poured his heart and soul into giving back. The once six‐inch seedlings he planted in 1955 now tower over festival‐goers in the magical icon that is Sherwood Forest.
As his spirit will forever live on in The Forest, so will his lasting impact, passion for nature and commitment to sustainability that has given so many lasting memories to all his visitors. Seeing his memorial last year fueled my idea to create my wish for this year – a permanent memorial for the man who has touched so many hearts and whose hand‐planted seeds will continue to inspire ambition, freedom, and hope for generations to come. To honor the beautiful soul that allowed all of this to happen, my wish is for Electric Forest to plant a monumental tree in his name. From there and for each festival to come, the tree will be known as the Wally Tree, to which visitors can pay their respects and feel his energy rooted here and throughout The Forest.
As Wally himself once said, “Life itself is a cycle. It has a remarkable way of repeating itself. For most of us, it seems like we end up right where we started.” His words have a profound truth to them, but could contain an even more literal meaning – Wally’s ideals and all that he stood for could end up right where he started – with fostering a tree and promoting life.
From my end, there is a slightly different approach to the wish. It’s fairly simple – planting a tree is one of the most sustainable ways to positively affect the environment. They improve air quality through oxygen production and carbon storage (offsetting harmful byproducts of fossil‐fuel burning), provide shelter for wildlife, moderate sun and wind effects, and have been proven to aid in relaxation, as well as reduced heart rates and stress levels in humans. In today’s society, we need to encourage growth and development of the depleting population of wildlife in urban areas – the direct cause and effect relationship in doing so is substantially great. For example, planting more trees leads to increased availability of natural refuges for children and younger generations. This provides opportunity for a technological generation to bond with nature (a generation that we will later depend on to play their part in conserving the environment and planet as a whole). We will, in turn, reap the benefits of better air quality and an overall healthier life, as well as continue to boost development and nourishment of wildlife. Specifically, in the metro‐Detroit area where I reside, there has been devastating loss of millions of trees due to invasive species, disease, and various other causes. Mass effort to reforest the area is underway, and I feel it is my duty to display environmental leadership and act. As Electric Forest says, “So many of us wish for change in the world today. We must be that change.” So, I have vowed to start by planting one tree in my community of Ann Arbor, Michigan and most likely continuing my efforts in reforesting the metro‐Detroit area.” – Jake
Wally said it best, "Be inspired to live to the fullest, to leave a magical legacy, and to always be young at heart."
In celebration of his sustainable efforts in the local community, Jake wishes for The Forest to do the same – by planting a tree and dedicating it to the man who started it all. To applaud his positive impact, Electric Forest is proud to announce “The Wally Tree” – a celebration of beloved Forest Family member and Sherwood Forest’s original Lorax, Wally Wojack.
THE ELECTRIC FOREST WISH MACHINE
The Wish Machine sparked inspiration from across the globe. From local communities in Michigan to as far as Tanzania and Cambodia, the Forest Family considered what they could do – for individuals, neighborhoods, communities, and societies – to help make the world a better place. Pledges included raising money and awareness for mental health, rare diseases, and sustainable efforts; donating clothing, personal items, and funds to charity drives and disaster clean-up efforts; volunteering time and resources to local humane societies, hospitals, and homeless shelters; and so much more.
The Wish Machine challenged the Forest Family to venture out into the world and spread positive action and good deeds. Now it’s time for The Forest to reward the most amazing, world-changing, and awe-inspiring acts of kindness.
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