Sent from New York City, a seedling of hope soon will be planted in Las Vegas.
The small tree was harvested as a seed in 2011 from the original 9/11 Survivor Tree, which was pulled from the World Trade Center rubble and nursed back to health. The Survivor Tree later was replanted at the Sept. 11 memorial, and in 2013, the seedling distribution program was born.
Each year on Sept. 12, the Sept. 11 memorial selects a few cities or countries that will receive a Survivor Tree seedling.
“The recipient communities have been impacted by violence and extreme disaster,” according to the organization.
The seedlings are considered a sign of solidarity and “living symbols of the promise of renewal.”
This year, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and Greece each received seedlings.
Las Vegas was selected in the wake of the Route 91 Harvest festival attack on Oct. 1, 2017, which left 58 dead and more than 800 wounded.
Pittsburgh was selected in the wake of the 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue shooting that left 11 dead and six wounded, and Greece was selected in the wake of a series of wildfires last year that left more than 100 dead and more than 170 injured.
Maggie Allred, a local human resources manager at an architectural firm, helped nominate Las Vegas as a possible seedling recipient.
“I think the story is extremely touching, and it does connect us all, even in a tragic way,” Allred said of the Survivor Tree and the seedling distribution program.
Allred worked with the memorial foundation’s board for about 10 months to help arrange the city’s selection. She said the foundation had concerns about whether the seedling would survive in Las Vegas’ dry, desert climate.
But Steven Glimp, the manager of urban forestry and parks and ground maintenance for the city of Las Vegas, ensured it would. He is caring for the ornamental pear until it is planted this spring.
Glimp said ornamental pears do fairly well in the Las Vegas Valley, noting there are about 1,000 in the city’s inventory. But the seedling will get a little more care than the others.
“It is a special tree, and it will be going in a special place,” he said.
Glimp either will plant the seedling in the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden or at Las Vegas Fire Department Station 5, which hosts a 9/11 remembrance ceremony each year at 1020 Hinson St. City officials ultimately will decide on the location.
Last year, Puerto Rico, London and Parkland, Florida, received Survivor Tree seedlings.