Kindness and positivity grow on Northfield girl's Gratitude Tree

A young girl in Northfield is reminding us of the importance of being grateful.

Five years ago, Nika Hirsch planted "The Gratitude Tree" in Northfield – a tree covered with messages from the community of things and people they are grateful for.

Birthdays haven’t stopped the Gratitude Tree from growing. Nika is twelve now but the colorful cards still go out every summer, so the tree can bloom once again. Her act of kindness has inspired others to be kind and give a little thought to why, what, and to whom they’re grateful for.

"There’s every waking moment," recites Nika, reading one of the cards. "Family again… Bagels with Jeremy…"

And Nika has her own thank you’s. "Sometimes, it’s like my family, sometimes it’s like fries, sometimes my dogs," said Nika.

She and her mom are always grateful for the time they had with Nika’s father who passed away just last year. "14 years with Rico and our beautiful family," reads Nika. "I think that was my mom actually."

Some of the messages on the Gratitude Tree in Northfield, Minnesota. (FOX 9)

Their thank you and all the others will spin and twirl all summer long, but after school starts she and her mom prunes the tree, taking the tags home to read every one of them.

"Some of them we laugh at and some we smile and some of them are sort of really heartwarming and touching," said Nika's mom Jana Hirsch.

But the tree offers a different sort of bloom when winter hits. The Gratitude Tree becomes the giving tree with something cozy for anyone who might need it.

"This tree has become a really beautiful tree for our community and people will email us or message us and say Nika, when’s that tree going up?" added Jana.

The Gratitude Tree is right outside the Northfield Public Library. So stop by and pause for a little positivity even if just for a moment.