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Sterling Forest Project (Tuxedo)
Type of Memorial: Forest, Brownfield or Restoration
Location: Arrow Lake, Sterling Forest State Park
State: New York
Country: United States
Open to Public: Yes
The plan at Sterling Forest is to integrate the restoration and planting and maintenance of the memorial forest lands with on-going pediatric and family bereavement and conservation volunteer programs.
Reason site was selected:
Arrow Lake is the gateway to the newly preserved 18,000 acre Sterling Forest on the New Jersey-New York border. It is an ongoing restoration project, an area that represents the New York City region’s closest non-fragmented forest landscape. White pines are being planted in the under-story of dying hemlocks.
Events planned for site:
Small bereavement groups are the focus of this project, but broad public access is possible via the nearby Appalachian Trail. The groups are brought to the site via an innovative partnership between the Walt Disney Company, Cavalry Hospital, and the Orange County Land Trust. After 9-11, a partnership with the New York City Fired Department developed to bring new family bereavement and support groups to these healing grounds. They held a September 7 ceremony “Common Ground is Sacred Ground” to unveil a one ton healing totem pole that was carved by the Lummi master carvers from a sister forest 3,000 miles away in Bellingham, Washington and driven across the country with blessings from other indian nations along the way. This year (Sept 03) we have a much larger response than expected for this year's memorial event. There are over 106 family members, including 27 children have responded that they will participate in memorial tree planting this year. We have 25 volunteers participating. This will be an official memorial with the New York City Fire Department. Families only, no politicians, no press or general public. A family picnic will follow. Fire Department Chaplain will bless newly planted trees. Local volunteers will assist in preparing site and future maintenance. We are following original DEC plan using white pines, some lakeside rhodos, then wildflowers
Do you believe your memorial is a sacred place?:
The memorial at Arrow Lake is a place of sanctuary, beautiful light, quiet and private reflection for families and children. It is a sacred place near a waterfall and lake marked with a spectacular totem pole, a gift of the deeply spiritual Lummi Indian people and our sister forest in the Pacific Northwest. Like all forests the memorial site is filled with the chaos of trees fallen by disease, sudden death from lightening or heavy snows and other causes. But the forest is filled with rebirth, new life and hope - the essence of a sacred landscape.