By Steve Sears
Chester Township was recently selected to receive a ten-foot seedling tree, a descendant of the Ground Zero (Callary Pear) Survivor Tree, which is located in lower Manhattan.
The tree will officially be dedicated on Sept. 11, 2019.
The seedling of the original, which on Sept. 11, 2001 suffered but survived severely snapped roots and broken and burned branches, has been planted at the Township’s 9/11 Memorial in Chubb Park, which is dedicated to the late Gregg Froehner, a resident and Port Authority Police Officer who on that fateful day died while exhibiting great bravery in trying to save others.
“We are grateful to Daniel Cribari for his leadership in helping our community be a part of this living memorial to the victims of 9/11,” says Mayor of Chester Township Marcia Asdal. “It will be a lasting reminder and meaningful addition to our parks.”
Cribari, a Chester resident, emailed Asdal and the Chester Town Council regarding the 9/11 seedling.
“Our Township Administrator, Robin Collins, worked with her assistant, Judy Irwin, who especially worked on a detailed application to the 911 Survivor Tree organization, requesting a seedling,” says Mike Iganamort, first year town councilman, who estimates that the tree is about ten-feet tall. “And she did a terrific job with that application, and it was approved, and the seedling was sent to Chester Township.”
There was no fee needed with the application, and the process took about a month. Following Cribari’s suggestion, the township reached out by email to Nora Beirne of the 911 Memorial and Museum, informing her of the 9/11 Memorial dedicated to Froehner, feeling the seedling would be a meaningful addition.
“We subsequently reached out to Gregg’s widow, Mary Froehner, regarding the tree, as we would only proceed with this endeavor with the support and participation of his family,” says Irwin. “Both agreed it would be a wonderful addition. About a week after filing the application, we received and email from Nora that the application was accepted, and we could pick up a seedling within a week or two. The DPW (Department of Public Works), headed by Superintendent Craig Reiner, planted the tree a few days before September 11.”
According to Irwin, Reiner is working with Mary Froehner to revamp and refresh the memorial and also make the tree a focal point.
“Much of this landscaping work will be done this spring and summer and completed by Sept. 11, 2019. We will have a ceremony and dedication of the tree and re-dedication of the memorial in which we will invite the family, community, dignitaries, fire, police, etc.”
Irwin’s words are echoed by Iganamort: “We would want to include the community’s first responders, and of course leave it open to any and all residents to basically take some time to reflect, remember, and really enjoy this beautiful tree and its significance.”