Volunteers are still needed for “Plant a Tree at Flight 93,” a unique annual initiative designed to create a living memorial landscape at the Flight 93 National Memorial.
The event will take place on Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20. Volunteers from the general public and local businesses will be on hand to plant more than 11,000 seedlings across 17 acres of the memorial grounds.
“This is one of our most important annual events at the Memorial, and it’s a tremendous opportunity for volunteers to make a lasting contribution to future generations of visitors,” said Henry Scully, executive director of the Friends of Flight 93. “It’s also a way for all of us to come together and honor the sacrifice of the 40 Heroes of Flight 93.”
Now in its sixth year, the massive reforestation effort will eventually result in 150,000 new trees at the site as part of the Memorial’s design. The program is a joint effort of the National Park Service (NPS), the National Park Foundation and Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial.
Local businesses and organizations are already committed to providing more than 150 volunteers on Friday and Saturday, but volunteers from the general public are still needed to assist with planting duties, Scully said. Approximately 50 additional volunteers are needed each day, with tree-planting taking place from 9 a.m. into the early afternoon .
Those interested must pre-register online at http://flight93friends.org/plant-a-tree-registration/ (first-come, first-serve) and be at least 14 years of age. This is a rain-or-shine event.
To date, volunteers have assisted with planting 101,358 tree seedlings over 145 acres at Flight 93 National Memorial. These trees will help to re-establish woodland wildlife habitats on the former surface coal mine land, and create an essential windbreak to the Memorial Groves that are part of the memorial landscape.
Teams will work under the guidance of tree-planting experts again this year to take us one step closer to reaching the goal of 150,000 planted trees.
Many sponsors come together to make this initiative possible, including FedEx Ground, MetLife, S&T Bank, REI, Roy A. Hunt Foundation, and Simpson & McCrady. The UPS Foundation returns as a partner for the sixth year. The UPS Foundation has contributed over $1.2 million to Flight 93 National Memorial over the past six years. Rosebud Mining Company also returns to provide in-kind services to break up heavily compacted soil and promote tree growth. Sponsorship opportunities are still available and should be directed to Scully at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The memorial will be open to the public during regular visiting hours during the event, with park grounds open sunrise to sunset, and the Visitor Center open starting at 9 a.m. Additionally, the NPS will host a Children’s Discovery Table in the Learning Center on both days for families to learn more about reforestation and the role trees play around the memorial.