Wenonah begins Phase 2 of project to replace trees destroyed by Ida tornado
A Gloucester County town known for its tree-lined streets started to replant Friday after many were lost to an EF-3 tornado during Hurricane Ida last year.
“I cried, and I knew right away that we were going to replace it. I said, ‘No way, no way. It’s going to get replaced,’” says Kathryn Knight MacGregor, of Wenonah.
She was in Wenonah Park on Friday as trees were planted throughout the town. One of them will be named for her parents. The Sept. 1 tornado took down the original tree.
"I would estimate that we lost, street tree-wise, at least 300 [trees] and personal property trees will be well over 1,000,” says Gary Odenbrett, of the Wenonah Shade Tree Commission.
Wenonah is a Tree City USA-designated town. The town has been fundraising to replace the trees that were lost. Wenonah Park alone lost 40 of the more than 100 trees that were in the park.
“Today we brought in 22 trees of varying size. Maples, oaks, a bunch of different conifers,” says Mayor John R. Domini.
The Shade Tree Commission has replaced more than 100 trees since the tornado.
"People have been very generous and donations - the trees have been donated from Exley's. Ledden Palimeno's donating labor today to plant the trees, that's incredible. Even some of the trees that you see have that have already been planted, those individual trees were donated,” Domini says.
The Shade Tree Commission says that Friday’s planting was Phase 2 of the project. The next phase will be in the fall. Officials say that all this would not be possible without the generosity of the town.
"It took a lot of effort by a lot of different volunteers and contributors to make this day happen, so it's more about the sense of pride back in Wenonah, having these trees planted,” says Odenbrett.
Wenonah has raised nearly $40,000 through a GoFundMe campaign to replace the trees.