STATUE OF LIBERTY NATIONAL MONUMENT, N.Y. – Project EverGreen is coordinating a project that will see more than $35,000 invested to revitalize the 9/11 Memorial Grove on Liberty Island on Tuesday, June 10. The grove was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, and the renovation follows 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 from the saltwater.

Green industry volunteers will plant a dozen new London Plane trees June 10 on the site where the trees were originally installed in 2002 by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and the site will be re-dedicated to the victims of the 9/11 tragedy.

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.”

Project EverGreen is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing green spaces throughout the United States. Its best-known program, GreenCare for Troops, pairs local landscape volunteers with military families to provide free lawn and landscape services while a loved one is deployed overseas.The 9/11 Memorial Grove Revitalization Day will feature:

  • Re-planting about 12 new London Plane trees.
  • Mulching of the 9/11 Memorial Grove and several nearby tree beds.
  • Installation of small commemorative sign by the Project EverGreen board and volunteers with New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association.
  • New Jersey applicator volunteers will also donate post-Sandy sodic soil treatments at 9/11 Grove and Ellis Island with Project EverGreen board assistance.

Project EverGreen will invite several recipients of its GreenCare for Troops (GCFT) program to participate 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.

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. 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 reduce the excessive salt content in the soil in and around the grove, Solu-Cal USA donated 16,000 pounds of enhanced gypsum, and N.J.-based Lidochem, Inc. provided KaPre ExAlt surfactant product in in-kind donation for the project. In total, all in-kind product and service donations organized by Project EverGreen to help restore and renew the landscapes on both Ellis and Liberty islands equates to an equivalent retail cost approaching $35,000.