Girl Scout Donates Trees for a Jersey City Memorial Grove Dedicated to Covid Deaths

Covid Memorial Jersey City Heights
In memory of Jersey City residents who died of the coronavirus, 29 trees will be planted at Leonard Gordon Park. Photo courtesy of Leonard Gordon Park Conservancy.

A park in Jersey City Heights received a donation from a local girl scout that will go toward the creation of a memorial grove dedicated to the death of a local councilman.

Julie Peters, a resident of the Heights and a member of Girl Scout Troop 10094, donated 29 trees of mostly eastern redbuds to Leonard Gordon Park.

“For the past two years, we have all struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic, a devastation that has claimed hundreds of Jersey City residents,” Peters said. “As these trees grow, my strong memories of those lost, including Councilman Michael Yun and my uncle David Peters, will inhabit these living symbols of renewal and healing.”

In Hudson County, there have been 2,721 total deaths due to coronavirus. Nationwide the number of fatalities is nearing one million.

Mayor Steven Fulop spoke about the legacy of the late Councilman Yun, who died of coronavirus two years ago.

“Michael Yun’s passing highlighted the importance of memorial groves, remembering people who have contributed to the community, and of course the importance of open space in Jersey City,” Fulop said.

Councilman Yousef J. Saleh, who took the Ward D seat vacated by the late councilman, said that in addition to the benefits of trees — including shade and flood prevention — the grove would be a place of reflection.

The project was a year in the making, and the grove will fill a part of the park that was in need of revitalization, Patrick Ambrossi, president of the Leonard Gordon Park Conservancy, said.

“When we first saw Leonard Gordon Park and wanted to get involved and wanted to renovate it, it was because of a burnt playground,” said Ambrossi, who marked the improvement in the once-derelict park over the past 10 years with the help of similar investments.


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