A total of 416 trees will eventually be part of the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero. The first 16 trees arrived by truck on Friday, Aug. 27.
Mark Merit, chief operating officer for Environmental Designs, the company awarded the tree services contract, told Land Line on Monday, Aug. 30, that the trees were trucked about 38 miles from the nursery where they were “grown and cultured” for about four years in Millstone Township, NJ, to the World Trade Center site.
He said the first trucks rolled around 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, and the last truck arrived around 4 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28.
He said that despite the many logistical issues involved in bundling the trees; loading them on the trucks; and then unloading, unbundling and planting them, it’s been a worthwhile experience.
“We have only planted 16 trees so far, and by the time we finish we will have planted 416, so it will be years before we are completely done with the project,” Merit said.
He added that a New York-based trucking company, New York Heavy Haul, was contracted to deliver the trees to the memorial site. Another batch of trees, from Washington, DC, New York and Pennsylvania, the three places that were hit on Sept. 11, 2001, are scheduled to be delivered in about a month, Merit said.
He said the “Discovery Channel” is working on a documentary about the memorial. It is scheduled to air next year. Merit said that a camera was attached to the truck’s cab and also the trailer of the first tree on its journey to the memorial site. The PBS program “Nova” is also working on a documentary about the architecture and structural issues involved in the building of the memorial.
“We are just one tiny piece in this project, but it’s been worthwhile,” Merit said.
– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer