Governor Corbett Pledges Funds for Trees to Honor Fallen Heroes at Flight 93 Memorial

HARRISBURG, Pa. (EYT) – Yesterday Governor Tom Corbett announced that Pennsylvania’s TreeVitalize program, through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, will support the purchase and planting of 450 large trees at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County to honor the sacrifice of the passengers and crew.

“This planting at Flight 93 provides an opportunity to engage the public in the hopeful act of planting a tree at the site of a national tragedy,” Gov. Corbett said. “Our TreeVitalize program seeks to revitalize communities with trees, and is honored to play a role in bringing life and beauty to a site of such sadness.”

When the trees are ready in spring 2016, 450 “Red Sunset” red maples will be planted along the 40 Memorial Groves walkway that will sweep along the inner edge of the 40 Memorial Groves from the Visitor Center Complex down to the Memorial Plaza at the crash site. The plan for the memorial site was developed through a national design competition.

“The tree-lined walkway will be spectacular and will provide visitors with a meaningful place to reflect on what happened here. We are thankful to the Commonwealth for its continued support and to Governor Corbett, DCNR Secretary Ferretti and TreeVitalize for providing the trees and support to make this a reality,” said Jeff Reinbold, superintendent of Western Pennsylvania Parks, National Park Service.

TreeVitalize is providing approximately $160,000 for the purchase, delivery and planting of the trees.

“This planting represents a continuation of the partnership that began in 2009 between DCNR and the National Park Service at the Flight 93 site,” DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti said. “Since 2012 the DCNR Bureau of Forestry’s nursery has supplied thousands of seedlings to the site to help reforest the strip mined land surrounding the crash site, and DCNR foresters have led volunteers in planting the seedlings each spring.”

Ferretti was among the 400 volunteers who planted 20,000 bare-root seedlings at the site in April 2014.

DCNR’s TreeVitalize Program works to increase tree canopy cover in communities throughout Pennsylvania, and to encourage the sustainable management of community trees. The program fosters an appreciation for the ecological, economic, and social benefits that trees provide to communities, and encourages active citizen involvement in the care of public trees. It provides educational outreach and technical assistance to municipal staff members, shade tree commissions and other volunteers.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Flight 93 crashed in an empty field in Somerset County.

Because of the quick and determined actions of the passengers and crew, Flight 93 was the only one of the four hijacked aircraft on that day that failed to reach the terrorists’ intended target.

For more information on the Flight 93 National Memorial, visit the National Park Service website at

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