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Gateway ‘Survivor Tree’ planting ceremony a highlight of annual Celebrate Earth Day

Gateway Technical College has been provided with a Survivor Tree which will be planted 10:30 a.m. April 25 at its annual Celebrate Earth Day event on its Kenosha Campus as a living reminder of the country’s resilience, survival and rebirth in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The ornamental pear tree and national landmark will be planted in the Pike Creek Arboretum. The tree is a descendent of a tree found at Ground Zero following the attacks, severely damaged yet alive. It was recovered and rehabilitated and returned to the 911 Memorial in 2010.

Gateway was provided a seedling because it already hosts a national artifact from Ground Zero, an I-beam which is part of the On Eagles Wings statue in front of its HERO Center in Burlington, a monument inspired by the heroic acts of the first responders to the World Trade Center. The HERO Center houses the college’s emergency services programs.

“The survivor tree is symbolic of the strength and desire all Americans to overcome hardship and loss, and will serve as a reminder for all that through education can we nurture a more tolerable society,” said Gateway Technical College President and CEO Bryan Albrecht.

In addition to the Survivor Tree, Gateway will also plant two additional trees, to honor military veterans – one for those who are Gateway staff, and the other for those who are students.

Annual celebration continues to expand

The planting is part of the overall annual Celebrate Earth Day Event, held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 25 at its Kenosha Campus, 3520-30th Ave., featuring many earth-friendly activities, informational booths, workshops and children’s crafts across the campus.

“Celebrate Earth Day is a great, family-oriented event that offers information and fun in equal measures,” says Gateway marketing director Jayne Herring. “We have short workshops for elementary school-age children as well as adults, and the opportunity to get all your environmental questions answered by the experts at the information booths.

“Kids have a great time and learn at the same time.”

For a guide to all activities for the day, please go to

Visitors will receive a reusable grocery bag, courtesy of event sponsor, Snap-on Incorporated, as well as a variety of other “green” focused items. The event is free and open to the public. In addition, the event will again feature horse-and-carriage rides, free trees handed out (while supplies last), as well as a small shuttle bus to take visitors up the hill to the Center for Sustainable Living and the many children’s and nature activities there.

A few of the many the events and features on the Kenosha Campus include:

  • Pike Creek cleanup. Cleanup is 8:45 a.m. to 10 a.m., meet at Pike Creek Horticulture Center at 8:45 a.m., then go to creek for cleanup.
  • Workshops and demonstrations. Car care, “green vehicle” clinic; electronics recycling; Respect Our Waters; composting and vermicomposting; common gardening questions answered; beekeeping demonstration and question-and-answer time.
  • Children’s activities. Many children’s activities will be held in three separate sites of the event, including the Technical Building, Center for Sustainable Living and the Pike Creek Horticulture Center. They include starting seeds, exploring trees and the forest, a live animal demonstration from the Richard Bong State Recreation Area; recycled crafts; and several more.
  • Food vendors, entertainment. Food will be available for event-goers; a plant sale held. More than 40 environmentally-focused businesses will also be on hand.
  • Informational booths
  • Recycle. Electronics, computers. The recycling will be held in Room T109, and Gateway students will meet those wishing to recycle with a cart to help move items. Hard drives and their content will be destroyed. It’s free, except for a $15 charge for TVs and CRTs.
  • Door prizes and giveaways.

Celebrate Earth Day events are being held at the Elkhorn Campus (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and the Kenosha Campus. For more information, please see or contact Jayne Herring, (262) 496-0016.