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Project EverGreen Cleans Up Liberty Island

Project EverGreen, a national non-profit organization that preserves and enhances green spaces, will restore the Liberty Island landscape that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Project EverGreen, along with the Liberty Island Ladies Auxiliary and the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association, will restore the Liberty Island landscape by October 28th, when the Statue of Liberty celebrates her 127th birthday.

A few years after the September 11th tragedy the Liberty Island Ladies Auxiliary planted several London Plane trees to honor the lives lost in the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The site became known as the 9/11 Memorial Grove. However, last October Hurricane Sandy damaged many of the trees, which are now dead or dying.

Now, the Liberty Island Ladies Auxiliary and the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association are working to restore the area with:

Green Space Cleanup
New Landscape Design
Hardscaping: Seat Walls and Step Installation
Location Appropriate Tree/Plant Installation
Irrigation System Work

"The space itself has a direct line of sight to ground zero," says Jody Shilan, executive director of the NJLCA. "It seemed like a perfect location to reflect and think about that day."

Shilan, an award winning landscape architect, created a design for the revitalization of the September 11th site with memory of that fateful day in mind. For example, the seat walls are 50-feet long - one foot for each state. The walls are nine feet from the bed lines and 11 feet apart. The steps themselves are 20 feet wide (9 plus 11). The current design includes 11 new trees in a semi-circle around the seat walls.

Shilan hopes to be able to include thematic plantings - cultivars such as patriot, liberty and America if they are appropriate for the site. There is a Lady Liberty Peony. Shilan is working with an expert from Monrovia to determine which plants will survive and flourish on the island. The plan also includes irrigation and some electrical work.

"It's a nice green space that can hold a couple of hundred people," Shilan says. "We want to celebrate life and perseverance as well as remember the tragedy."

For more information about Project EverGreen please visit

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June 18, 2019, 6:45 pm PDT

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