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Restoring Liberty National 9/11 Memorial Grove
By Dan Jacobs, Project EverGreen

The volunteers get their instructions for the installation of several new trees at the 9/11 Memorial Grove on Liberty Island, N.Y.

Brian Tauscher of Artisan Gardens Landscaping and his crew put one of 12 London plane trees into a hole dug by volunteers for Project EverGreen's 9/11 Memorial Grove revitalization project.

On June 10, Project EverGreen coordinated an endeavor that saw more than $35,000 invested to revitalize the 9/11 Memorial Grove on Liberty Island, N.Y. The grove was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The renovation followed the March removal of dead and dying London plane trees damaged by the storm surge that sent five feet of saltwater onto the site. The soil at the site was also amended to reduce the high salt content remaining.

"Parks, gardens and green spaces are proven to have a mental healing effect, like those dealing with a loss of a loved one from the 9/11 tragedy," said Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. "In fact, a 2012 study from the Journal of Affective Disorders found participants with depression spending time in a natural setting experienced a positive increase in mood five times as great as that of a healthy individual."

The soil damage caused by Hurricane Sandy's flood surges left numerous dead and dying London plane, American sycamore and pin oak trees, that were hazardous to people and property on Liberty Island. To correct the situation Project EverGreen partnered with Paul Cowie & Associates Arborist Consultants, who donated tree care survey and soil remediation management plans. The revitalization day featured mulching of the grove and several nearby tree beds; and installation of a small commemorative sign by the Project EverGreen board and volunteers from New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association. New Jersey applicator volunteers donated post-Sandy sodic soil treatments at 9/11 Grove and Ellis Island with Project EverGreen board assistance.

GreenCare for Troops program participated in the event. GCFT is a national service that connects military families with volunteers to take care of their landscape needs free of charge while a loved one is deployed with the military.

Husqvarna provided professional climbing, ground and felling saws for the projects, and Bartlett Tree Experts donated crews, trucks and equipment to conduct the work needed on both islands. New Jersey-based Lawn Doctor provided aeration and application equipment.

To make the extensive sodic soil remediation treatments possible, Solu-Cal USA donated 16,000 pounds of enhanced gypsum. Lidochem Inc. provided KaPre ExAlt surfactant product in in-kind donation for the project.

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June 16, 2019, 10:33 pm PDT

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