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First Trees for 9/11 Memorial Plaza The first 16 swamp white oaks for the 9/11 Memorial Plaza were transported from this plot of land in Millstone Township, N.J. to the 9/11 Memorial Plaza in Manhattan. Photo: Environmental Design

The end of Aug. marked the planting of the first swamp white oaks at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza at the World Trade Center site. The trees came from New York, Pennsylvania and D.C. and have been growing for four years on land leased by Halka Nurseries of Millstone Township, N.J. to Environmental Design of Huston, Texas. Environmental Design has the job of growing, tending to and transporting the trees. Flatbed trucks delivered the first of 437 swamp white oaks planned for the 9/11 Memorial Plaza. The trees will create an urban forest within the cobblestone plaza. Swamp white oaks were selected for their good looks and hardiness. They will grow to a stately 60-80 ft. tall. A full-time arborist will care for the mini urban forest atop the land. The arborist's job is made easier by subterranean irrigation that will water and fertilize the trees. Sensors in the root balls allow remote monitoring of soil moisture and temperature. Integrated in the plaza are two massive square pools, each nearly one-acre in size, placed where the Twin Towers stood. Water will cascade down the sides of the pools. The 9/11 Memorial Foundation says these cascades will be the largest manmade waterfalls in the country. The names of those killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, and the February 1993 World Trade Center bombing will be will be inscribed on parapets surrounding the pools. Commuter train platforms and a parking garage are being built under the plaza. The memorial design is the creation of architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker

“Where flowers bloom so does hope.� - Lady Bird Johnson

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