Officials in New Jersey’s Harrington Park school district are vowing to replant 10 trees that were recently removed by a contractor to make way for a parking lot, including one tree that was dedicated to a local resident who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Harrington Park Superintendent Adam Fried told The Record district officials received complaints from neighbors of Harrington Park School in late June after school contractors chopped down 10 trees on the campus to make way for a paving project.
“A homeowner next to the school is upset that the trees were removed as they acted as a buffer,” according to the news site. “Another resident informed the board of the removal of the memorial tree at its July meeting.”
The memorial was planted in memory of James Andrew O’Grady, who died during 9/11. O’Grady was a decorated swimmer at UCLA before joining the investment banking firm Sandler O’Neill & Partners on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center.
Fried alleges the removal of the trees was an accident. Nine of the trees were scheduled to be trimmed by Rockland Electric as part of a larger project to replace 5,500 feet of overhead wire in the community, but workers cut them down instead.
The roughly 7-foot tall memorial tree was also allegedly removed by accident by JJ Sinsisi Asphalt Paving, which was hired to pave new parking spaces in front of the school, Fried told the news site.