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U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Living Memorials Project

View of the Long Meadow, feeling the effects of the drought, with the memorial in the background.
View of the Long Meadow, feeling the effects of the drought, with the memorial in the background.
The memorial site will include more trees and benches for an enclosed, grove feel.
The memorial site will include more trees and benches for an enclosed, grove feel.

September 11 Memorial Grove in Prospect Park

Purpose

According to Prospect Park Alliance's Amanda Eisen, the site is "to commemorate the lives of people from Brooklyn that were lost on that day, and to give the community a space for reflection and healing."

Reason site was selected

This site was selected because it is one of the closest points in the park to Manhattan and the former WTC, and yet it is not in particularly any neighborhood. It is in an area that needed restoration anyways, and this grant will help to restore some of Olmsted's original designs. As a grove, it will stand apart for 9-11 remembrance, but will integrate with the rest of the park landscape. The Alliance wanted to do something because people came to Prosepct Park in droves on September 11 and the days that followed. Families gathered there to "give their kids a sense of normalcy," but the pervasive quietness and the presence of ash and debris marked those days as not just any other weekend.

Events planned for site

The public will be notified of the grove as the project moves forwards, and individuals can dedicate trees for loved ones. The staff anticipates that many organic events will occur once the space is developed and dedicated, as such spaces are desparately needed in the city.

Do you believe your memorial is a sacred place?

According to the project's landscape architect, "the park is a historic landmark. It is already sacred ground, and the memorial will add another layer to that."
  • Sponsored by Prospect Park Alliance; Individual Donors; USDA Forest Service
  • Site maintained by Prospect Park Staff
  • Project website contact www.prospectpark.org
  • Project email contact aeisen@prospectpark.org
  • Address Prospect Park
  • City, State, ZIP Brooklyn, New York  11215
  • County Kings
  • Dedication Sep. 4, 2003
  • Status Dedicated/Existing and permanent
  • Artwork No
  • Public access yes
  • Public events yes
  • Sq. Foot 
  • Acreage 1-1.5 acres
  • Number & Species of Trees 21-100: oak, black gum, magnolia, sweet gum, birch, tulip, perhaps evergreen on the edges, and an understory of dogwood, witch hazel, and other flowering trees
  • This project is best described as a Park, Tree Grove
  • This project is unique because of the Site Design, Site Planning Process, Site Use, Site Maintenance
  • Project Sponsors and Participants
  • Is the community involved? yes
  • Project was initiated by Non-Profit
  • Land is owned by City
  • Type of participants Staff and Volunteers
  • Number of people involved 10 - 20
  • Percent of those involved who are volunteers 25% to 50%
  • Are people expected to stay involved? yes
  • For more information contact  www.prospectpark.org, aeisen@prospectpark.org

Memorial Updates

How has the memorial changed?

As the trees grow and the canopy fills in, the memorial is evolving. The berm has been fenced-in in efforts to mitigate desire lines so the herbaceous and shrub layer can grow. The Woodland Youth Group has helped to formalize access through a wood-chipped trail and rustic rail. Six benches have been installed on the perimeter of the memorial, facing out toward the long meadow.

Describe the events onsite

Visitors enjoy the area but it is not really known as a memorial. The marble plaque on the ground is meant to be ‘discovered’ in line with the Olmstead design.

What is growing on the site?

Primarily native trees and understory with white flowers including:
  • Amelanchier laevis
  • Chionanthus virginicus
  • Viburnum prunifolioum
  • Liquidambar styraciflua
  • Nyssa sylvatica
  • Quercus shumardii
  • Ilex opaca
  • Halesia dipteral
  • Amelanchier Canadensis
  • Magnolia x soulangiana
  • Ilex glabra
  • Liriodendron tulipifera
  • Magnolia acuminate
  • Cercis Canadensis
  • Quercus imbricaria
  • Cornus x Celestial

What are you most proud of and what are your hopes for the future of the site?

Reflecting on his 25 years of work in Prospect Park, Christian Zimmerman, Prospect Park Alliance Vice President of Capital and Landscape Management, said “it’s humbling, the park continues to grow, it is a refuge for people, a place to relax and recuperate…just being a part of it, the restoration.” Due to a tornado, Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, and other storms, about 1000 trees were lost in the park, so now their overall goal is to have under/mid/over story of native trees.

Do you believe that this is a sacred space?

Christian Zimmerman responded, that the park landscape itself is sacred, which is due to the success of Olmsted’s design.