Original 'Tree of Hope' returns to Union Beach

The original

The original "Tree of Hope" is back in Union Beach. The tree has become a symbol of Superstorm Sandy recovery. (12/4/15)

UNION BEACH - The original "Tree of Hope," a symbol of Superstorm Sandy recovery, is back up in Union Beach after being on display at the Tuckerton Seaport Museum.

However, some Union Beach residents say the artificial tree needs to be fixed up. The tree is now crooked and overgrown with weeds, and it has no working Christmas lights. The ornaments on it are broken and dirty.

"It looks kind of sad right now," says Union Beach Councilmember Cherlanne Roche.

There are efforts to spruce up the tree once again. Plans are in the works to have a community Christmas tree trimming event on Dec. 12.

Jim Butler is the Union Beach resident who found the tree after Sandy. He says that is glad to see the original tree back, and sees it as a source of hope for those affected by the storm.

"The idea that we're standing here on a nice day with homes being rebuilt. It's nice all these years later," he says.

Nonprofit volunteers and Union Beach officials tried to replace the "Tree of Hope" with a real tree twice, but both plantings failed.

Butler says he would like to see the tree put into storage after the New Year and only be taken out for the holidays, until every resident is back in their homes.

More on this topic

Union Beach HOPE tree

HOPE Tree Facebook page

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