2003-07-18 / Front Page

Tribute Park A No-Grow For 9/11

Tribute Park A No-Grow For 9/11

Rockaway residents who planned for a September 11 opening of the new Tribute Park are going to be disappointed.

According to Liz Sulik, the executive director of the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce and the park’s driving force from the beginning, there are several reasons including a landscaping delay and the feelings of those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center.

Summer is not the ideal season for planting according to Sulik. The new plan calls for the greenery to be installed sometime in October, she said.

Another reason for pushing off the opening date, Sulik said, is that September has become a very busy and emotional month for the families of victims.

Additionally, it has taken more time than expected to coordinate the efforts of all the agencies involved with the park, she said.

"It would be much better on September 11," memorial designer Patrick Clark said, but he conceded that a later opening "may be better for the families."

Clark told The Wave that he is working this week on the park’s stained glass and mosaic elements. He is on schedule with his work but said that more time "takes the pressure off."

A new opening date could be determined as early as next week, Clark said. The unveiling of the memorial will actually take place twice on whatever day is chosen because natural and electric light create different aesthetic effects, he said.

Meanwhile, the site appears static but Sulik says work is continuing and that passersby will see major changes beginning in about two weeks. A blue-green concrete wall and a flagpole should be installed soon, she said, adding that the large mounds of soil on the site will be spread and leveled shortly.

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