Foundation to plant trees to memorialize Virginia Tech shooting victims

Foundation to plant trees to memorialize Virginia Tech shooting victims
TreeStewards in green vests guide volunteers as they plant 41 trees at Four Mile Run Park on Oct. 5. (Photo Credit: Missy Schrott)

The Virginia Tech Victims Family Outreach Foundation is planting the first phase of its memorial tree grove at Chinquapin Park on Sunday to commemorate victims and survivors of the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech.

The shooting marked its 11-year anniversary on April 16. The shooting, carried out by a lone assailant, killed 32 students and 24 injuries.

The VTV Foundation chose Alexandria for the project because of the city’s own brush with tragedy at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in June 2017, as well as Virginia Tech’s graduate school in the city and the city’s plan to increase its tree canopy.

The grove at the park will be located across from the community gardens and in close proximity to T.C. Williams High School.

Mayor Allison Silberberg, Virginia Tech Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture Nathan Heavers, State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30) and Virginia Del. Chris Hurst (D-12) will be featured speakers at the event. Megan Beyer, wife of Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), will also attend the event.

The foundation, initiated by families of victims and survivors, was created to prevent mass shootings through education, advocacy and support, according to a news release. One of its major goals is to strengthen the national background check system.

A fundraiser at Taverna Restaurant in Old Town will follow the event.