Peach tree planting ceremony Friday morning in Aurora

The campus and local communities are cordially invited to join us for the annual peach tree planting ceremony, which will take place tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 25) at 11:00 a.m. The tree will be planted in the grove located between Thomas House and the Wells College boathouse, just off Route 90/Main Street in Aurora.

President Jonathan Gibralter will deliver brief remarks, and Dan Hill, member of the Heron Clan of the Cayuga Nation and the caretaker of the Cayuga Strengthening Haudenosaunee–American Relations through Education (SHARE) farm in nearby Union Springs, will also be in attendance.

Dan, who teaches courses on First Nations and Indigenous studies at Wells, will also plant a similar peach tree with his class at the SHARE farm today (Thursday).

The Village of Aurora sits on the site of what was once a thriving Cayuga village known as Chonodote, or “Peachtown,” which was destroyed in 1779 by American soldiers as part of a larger campaign to decimate the Cayugas and several other nations of the Haudenosaunee confederacy. Prior to its destruction, the village was believed to have contained 1,500 peach trees. By planting a new peach tree each year, this ceremony aims to educate members of the larger community about this shared history, the Cayuga culture and its connection to the land upon which Wells College and Aurora sit.

This event is held in collaboration with the Cayuga Nation, the Wells College Center for Sustainability and the Environment, and the First Nations and Indigenous Studies program.

Please note: all attendees must comply with COVID-19 safety protocols, including physical distancing and the wearing of face masks.