Grove of Remembrance History

New Jersey’s Living Memorial – A Grove of Remembrance
Summer 2016
Our Green Streets Crew spent a lot of time in the Grove this summer weeding, mulching, and pruning. In the spring, Almstead Tree & Shrub Care & Arborjet treated 40 ash trees against Emerald Ash Borer in our Grove of Remembrance. When EAB comes to Jersey City these trees will not get infested!

Summer 2014

Jersey Cares Day at the Grove. Volunteers moved mountains of mulch and weeded the garden beds.


















Summer 2013

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Summer in the Grove of Remembrance.











We were able to straighten this Ash tree in the Grove. It is doing great and the Arbor Tie will be removed next summer.


Spring 2013

Tree loss from Superstorm Sandy will be a bit more than we hoped. We are giving all the stressed trees a lot of TLC to help them through the summer.



November 2012

We lost some trees to Superstorm Sandy. We won’t know the real damage until spring 2013… Sandy damage 003

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October 29, 2012

Superstorm Sandy left brackish flood waters in the Grove of Remembrance. No word yet how the trees look.

This is picture of the Hudson River breaching Liberty State Park
This is picture of the Hudson River breaching Liberty State Park


Over the summer months, we conducted a Landscaping & Maintenance training program for men under parole supervision. Three men provided community service to our 9/11 Memorial and our Urban Nursery, in exchange for earning a certificate and job placement assistance. Trainees learned:Tree, shrub, perennial and weed identification.
Proper tree & shrub pruning.
Proper mulching.
Transplanting shrubs & perennials.
General landscape & nursery maintenance.
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In the fall, Bloomberg volunteers once again weeded, planted and mulched the Grove to make it sparkle!
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Fall 2011 While NJ Certified Tree Experts pruned the trees, Bloomberg volunteers planted, weeded and mulched the beds.
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Fall 2010
Bloomberg volunteers move 150 yards of mulch to spruce up the Grove.
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Spring 2010
Jersey City students plant marigolds to beautify the Grove.
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 Fall 2009
On an cold, wet day PSE&G and Nelson Tree professionals pruned trees in the Grove of Remembrance. Thank you, guys!
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Bloomberg volunteers volunteers planted and mulched the Grove this fall. Thank you volunteers!

Spring 2009

The Grove of Remembrance is a Certified Monarch Butterfly Waystation!

Fall 2008

Grove aug 08 006Bloomburg volunteers moved mountains of mulch to beautify the Grove on 9/11/2008.

 Spring 2008
Jersey City School students once again weeded, planted and mulched their Grove Gardens to make this Living Memorial sparkle!

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Fall 2007

For the third year in a row, Bloomberg volunteers converged on the Grove on September 12, 2007 to plant roses and shrubs, weed and mulch the planting beds. Bloomberg volunteers are the Best!

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Jersey City students also helped beautify the Grove of Remembrance this Fall.








Happy Jersey City students with their pile of weeds! After weeding, students planted shrubs and bulbs to add color and beauty to the Grove. Thank you, students!

Spring 2007

On Two beautiful spring days, 194 Jersey City students planted and mulched their classroom grown flowers at the Grove of Remembrance. 


Fall 2006 Over four crisp, fall days, 200 Jersey City students planted 5,000 spring flowering bulbs in the Grove of Remembrance.

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Left to Right: Jersey City students hold a Silky dogwood; James Cunningham, NJTF Urban Forestry Technician, assists students with bulb planting; George, NJTF Green Streets staff member, helps a student plant a Buttonbush.
Spring 2006

Over four balmy, spring days, the NJ Tree Foundation andJersey Citystudents, planted annual and perennial flowers into students’GroveGardens. 569 students and teachers weeded, planted and mulched the Grove gardens to make this Living Memorial vibrant with color. After the last weed was pulled and flower was planted, students picnicked and played at the Grove of Remembrance.

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Over the winter months, Ocean Residential Community Home students grew 25 flats of flowers in their greenhouse for the Grove of Remembrance. On May 22, 2006, ten of the students joined the Tree Foundation’s Tree Crew to plant their flowers in the Memorial Circle at the Grove. While planting, the Tree Crew spoke to the students about making good life choices. This was not only an opportunity for the students to give back to the community, but it was also an opportunity for the Tree Crew to council the juveniles and show off their landscaping skills. The Ocean Residential Community Home focuses on male youth with substance abuse issues. The program maintains a philosophy that encourages sound decision making and holds residents accountable for their decisions.


Fall 2005     

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Jersey City School children and NJ Youth Corps did their part to honor the victims of 9/11 during the fall of 2005, when they planted 420 mums and 1200 flower bulbs to brighten the Grove of Remembrance, NJ’s living memorial to those who lost their lives four years ago. The New Jersey Tree Foundation, in partnership with WILD Jersey and Liberty State Park, sponsored the event, which is part of the Tree Foundation’s “GrowLabs for the Grove” program. Now in its second year, the “GrowLabs for the Grove” program involves Jersey City teachers and students in a service-learning project linked to their science curriculum.  After completing a full day of training, participating teachers receive GrowLabs, light gardens for propagating plants in the classroom.  Their students grow flowers for the Grove of Remembrance, and help care for this important open space by weeding, watering, and planting adopted garden beds.  Supporters of the program include the National Gardening Association, PSE&G, and the Jersey City Board of Education.

Grove of Remembrance Receives National Award

The Grove of Remembrance was selected from 900 kid’s gardening programs to receive a 2005 Youth Garden Grant from the National Gardening Association!  

Jersey City students wrote us many thank you letters for the GrowLabs and the Earth Day planting at the Grove.

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Earth Day 2005 at the Grove of Remembrance – Friday, April 22, 2005

Over 300 Jersey City students planted their classroom grown, GrowLab flowers into Grove Beds at the Grove of Remembrance. 

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GrowLabs for the Grove

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The New Jersey Tree Foundation, in partnership with WILD Jersey, has developed a dynamic new program to help maintain the Grove of Remembrance at Liberty State Park. GrowLabs for the Grove introduced Jersey City teachers and students to the wonders of plant sciences and service learning activities. Students are growing flowers to transplant in the Grove, and each participating child is becoming an active steward of this Living Memorial located within their own community. The GrowLabs for the Grove program is partially funded by the National Tree Trust and Lowes Home Improvement of Old Bridge.

A Place To Call Our Own at the Grove of Remembrance

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This fall, over 300 Jersey City School students from the Joint Activities Program planted 1,439 shrubs and perennials in the Grove as part of an educational activity called “A Place to Call Our Own”. This program introduced students and teachers to Liberty State Park and the Grove of Remembrance through hands-on planting and learning activities. With over 300 students ready to plant, the NJ Tree Foundation needed planting equipment, shrubs, perennials, seeds and bulbs, and cash donations to cover other costs! The following companies gave generously to this fall’s planting project: National Tree TrustCumberland Nurseries, Hopewell Nursery, Pinelands Nursery, Angelica Nurseries, Inc., Fernbrook Nursery, Inc., Seeds of Change, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Lockwood Farms & Her Secret Gardens and Comforts of Home,

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The Grove of Remembrance is being maintained entirely by volunteers. In Spring 2004, 186 volunteers planted an additional 50 trees & 315 perennials, and spread 55 yards of mulch to continue to beautify this Living Memorial.

Grove of Remembrance – A Living Memorial

The Grove of Remembrance, located in Liberty State Park, is a 10.8-acre tract where over 750 mature trees, one tree for each New Jersey victim of September 11, 2001, are planted. This memorial has vastly improved a large brownfield in Liberty State Park, allowing all who visit a peaceful place to reflect while viewing the Manhattan skyline and the area where the Twin Towers once stood. The NJ Tree Foundation received a $143,000 grant from the USDA Forest Service to create the Grove of Remembrance. With theManhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as a backdrop,LibertyState Park is one ofNew Jersey’s most dramatic parks. On September 11, 2001LibertyState Park was one of the main triage centers for victims coming across theHudson River via ferry service. The Park and its’ staff took in survivors and those who were injured, and helped to maintain organized services during those chaotic hours and days that followed that tragic event. Liberty State Park Rangers, staff and the Park Superintendent were in charge of the triage center. In the following days and weeks, theFamilyCrisis Center was set up in the Central Rail Road NJ Terminal.

The Grove of Remembrance includes two walkways that run the length of the tract. The “active walkway” is a tree-lined, linear pathway that leads from one end of the memorial to the other. The “Walk of Remembrance” is a meandering path that allows visitors to take their time getting from one end of the memorial to the other. At the middle point of the tract, both walkways are linked and lead to a circular area that is the focal point of this Living Memorial. Here at the Memorial Circle, a large plaque with the names of the New Jersey residents who perished is mounted on stone. Donated shrubs and perennials are planted along the split rail fence and in numerous planting beds. The Grove of Remembrance also includes lawn areas where visitors may sit in the sunshine and reflect upon the changedManhattan skyline.

The Grove of Remembrance was host to two special days – a private ceremonial tree planting with 9/11 family members, and the State Arbor Day event.

On April 21, 2003 Governor James McGreevey and the families of those lost on September 11, 2001, planted the first tree in the Grove of Remembrance. Prior to the tree planting, the families viewed a presentation covering the history of Liberty State Park, and the development of the Grove. Additionally, Jeanne Kavinski, who lost her sister in Tower One, read a poem that her sister wrote “Help a Withered Tree Bloom”.

On Friday, April 25, 2003, Arbor Day in New Jersey, 300 volunteers planted the first 250 trees in the Grove. All 250 trees were planted, mulched and watered in a little over an hour, allowing the volunteers to join in on the Arbor Day Ceremonial activities, and enjoy a nice lunch. A special, quiet planting area was set up for 9/11 family members so they could help plant a tree in memory of their loved ones. NJ Certified Tree Experts, NJ Tree Foundation and Community Forestry staff supervised the volunteers in their planting and mulching efforts.

The Arbor Day Ceremony included a moving speech by Jeanne Kavinski, a family member who assisted with the planning and design of the Grove. Jeanne spoke eloquently about how helping to develop and design the Grove had assisted with her healing. Additionally, awards were presented to the Arbor Day contest winners,Tree CityUSA towns, and a ceremonial tree was planted with state and local officials. For this year’s Arbor Day contest, students were asked to write a short prose on What Trees Mean To Me. The top winners read their poems at the Ceremony, and helped the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection plant the Arbor Day tree.

The Grove of Remembrance will be maintained solely by volunteers, and fundraising to assist with the continued maintenance of the Grove is ongoing. The USDA Forest Service grant of $143,000 paid for the trees, landscape materials and the bronze plaque. To date, over $694,973.00 worth of cash, in-kind donations and volunteer hours have been contributed to the Grove, and numerous corporations, volunteer organizations and local companies have donated trees, mulch, stone, soil, woodchips, time, cash and volunteers to the Grove of Remembrance.



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