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Gateway ‘Survivor Tree’ planting ceremony honors those who serve

Gateway student-veteran Erik Kent, Gateway President and CEO Bryan Albrecht, Gateway Horticulture instructor Courtney Greve and Kevin Nolan plant Survivor Tree during ceremony.

Gateway student-veteran Erik Kent, Gateway President and
CEO Bryan Albrecht, Gateway Horticulture instructor
Courtney Greve and Kevin Nolan, certified arborist with
Cassity Tree Service, ready to plant the Survivor Tree
during a ceremony as part of the college's
Celebrate Earth Day on Saturday.

Gateway Technical College’s annual Celebrate Earth Day event this year became a symbol of more than just the day itself, which focuses on promoting and encouraging environmental stewardship. This year, it also came to represent overcoming hardship, loss and honoring those who serve us in the military and emergency and protective services.

The college planted a Survivor Tree at its Kenosha Campus Pike Creek Arboretum during a ceremony, providing a living reminder of the country’s resilience, survival and rebirth in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“This project has been incredibly inspiring for our college and community, and fitting that we were able to obtain it in time to plant at our Celebrate Earth Day event,” said Gateway President and CEO Bryan Albrecht.

The ornamental pear 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.

Each year, the 9/11 Memorial Foundation gives seedlings from the survivor tree to three communities that have endured tragedy or are part of the special memorial tribute, such as Gateway’s HERO Center monument in Burlington. The monument features an I-beam salvaged from the wreckage of the attacks.

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

More than a thousand enjoyed the Celebrate Earth Day activities and events held at Gateway’s Kenosha and Elkhorn campuses. The events featured many earth-friendly activities, informational booths, workshops and children’s crafts across the campus.

The event also featured a celebration of the annual Celebrate Earth Day poster contest. Kenosha Unified School District’s Julianna Coy took first, followed by Elizabeth Johnson in second and Mia Torres in third. All three attend Kenosha Unified School District’s Washington Middle School. All the posters entered in the contest can be found on Gateway’s Flickr page here:

To see all the photos from today’s event, please visit Gateway’s Flickr page

For more information, please contact Jayne Herring, (262) 496-0016.