In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy left Liberty Island under five feet of salt water, destroying the trees that were planted there to honor the victims of 9/11. Project EverGreen, a national non-profit that preserves and enhances green spaces, recently spearheaded a dedicated group of volunteers to help clean it up.
The group installed a dozen 14-foot-tall London plane trees, spread 2,000 pounds of mulch, aerated the ground, and spread 16,000 pounds of enhanced gypsum to treat the damaged soil on both Ellis Island and the 9/11 Memorial Grove that rests in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty. The total revitalization effort is valued at an estimated $50,000.
The group included Brian Tauscher, owner of Artisan Garden Landscapes, along with members of Project EverGreen’s board and advisory council and a host of Green Industry companies. The project required nearly a year of planning, preparation and ?logistics—and culminated June 10 with the planting of those trees at the site dedicated by the Ladies Auxiliary of Foreign Wars shortly after 9/11.
The sacred site—which offers a view of the Lower Manhattan skyline, including the spot where the World Trade Center once stood—provides visitors a place to rest and reflect on the 2001 tragedy. Over 160,000 square feet, nearly 4 acres of turfgrass were aerated and treated with gypsum on both Liberty and Ellis Islands. Gypsum works to reduce the salt content in the soil, creating a healthier, sustainable environment for grass, plants and trees. In addition, more than 17 gallons of soil surfactant were donated to help remediate the extremely high saline soil levels on both islands.