"National Day of Service and Remembrance" was established by Congress and is a day that encourages people to do to a simple act of kindness or some public service to honor those lost to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. It is also known as Patriot Day and is observed on Sept. 11 each year.
On Sept. 11, AmeriCorps volunteers embarked on a massive red spruce relocation program in honor of Patriot Day. Blackwater Falls State Park in Tucker County hosted the volunteers, who worked a total of 96 man-hours and dug up more than 1,800 Red Spruce seedlings from power line rights-of-way and transplanted them to the Pendleton Lake Recreation Area of the park.
"The tree seedlings that establish themselves naturally in maintained rights-of-way were collected, saved in advance of spraying or cutting, and used as part of the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (CASRI)," said Paulita Cousin, naturalist at Blackwater Falls.
Volunteers plant Red Spruce seedlings in Blackwater Falls State Park in Tucker County. More than 90 hours of service were spent on Sept. 11 commemorating the attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.
Blackwater Falls State Park is a participating agency in the CASRI initiative. Red spruce (Picea rubens) is a native species to the Blackwater Falls area and the seedlings are being planted to provide connectivity to existing stands in the high Appalachians in the eastern United States.
A moment of silence was observed to remember those who died in the 9/11 attack and the planting was done in their honor. Assistant Superintendent Scott Fortney participated and supervised the volunteer crews in honor of his father, Dr. Ronald H. Fortney, who was instrumental in initiating native species restoration projects in the state of West Virginia. Fortney would have been 64 years old on Sept. 11.
To learn more about CASRI visit: www.restoreredspruce.org.
For information about plants and trees, the U.S. Department of Agriculture website located at www.plants.usda.gov offers extensive details about the demographics and characteristics of the species.
Visit Blackwater Falls State Park in person any time of the year or stay in touch through the park website at www.blackwaterfalls.com.