SHANKSVILLE PA – Visitors this summer to the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville in Somerset County PA will be able to envision the future, as they look out over more than 13,800 tree seedlings that will be planted there during the next two weekends, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced Thursday (April 19, 2012).
The department’s Bureau of Forestry is providing 2,000 native white and pitch pine, and quaking aspen seedlings grown at its Penn Nursery in Centre County. Over several years, they will flourish at the memorial as “a symbol of life and growth, so important at a site that requires reflection on the brave sacrifice made by the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93,” department Secretary Richard Allan said.
Construction is continuing at the memorial, which marks the spot where the plane went down in a field near Shanksville after the crew and passengers thwarted a Sept. 11, 2001, plan by terrorists to crash in to the U.S. Capitol. The memorial’s first features were dedicated last September to mark the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks, and it is now open to the public.
In addition, 100 American red pine and 100 red maple seedlings donated last fall by public radio listeners also will be planted. The remaining seedlings come from a variety of other sources.
TreeVitalize, a state partnership effort to plant one million trees across Pennsylvania to address the loss of tree cover, will assist with the large tree planting effort. It will be joined by the National Park Service, many partner agencies and hundreds of volunteers. Twenty DCNR foresters will be on site during the event, acting as team leaders and providing information on how to plant seedlings.