Green Newton Civid Tree Memorial

It has been two years since the planting of over 240 trees to commemorate the lives lost to COVID-19 in Newton. Named the 4C Tree Project, the effort was spearheaded by Newton resident Elizabeth Sockwell, with support from Green Newton, youth leaders, and community members aspiring to create a living memorial to those who lost their lives to the pandemic.

Thanks to Director of Urban Forestry Marc Welch, the trees have been watered and well cared for using funds raised from community members for the project. Visits to the trees over the last two years have helped Sockwell and co-leader Yoshi Futai reflect on how far the trees have come, and how far they have come. Seeing how the trees are flourishing and thriving so well provides us with a sense of hope and resiliency.

Though the World Health Organization declared in May 2023 that COVID-19 was no longer a global health emergency, it is important for us to continue to reflect on and remember the lives we have lost in our community, and to look back on how our lives changed during those trying times. The trees will help us remember. Holding 5 year, 10 year, and 20 year remembrance ceremonies would also ensure that we never forget the community members we lost to this pandemic. We hope future generations will view this living tree memorial as a symbol of legacy, resilience, and community.

Visit the 4C Tree Project map on Green Newton’s website to see the location of all of the 4C trees in Newton.

Green Newton deeply appreciates the generous gifts from the many community members who contributed in memory of our friends and loved ones who lost their lives to COVID.

Yoshi with an American linden

Elizabeth with a red oak