Clean Up 9/11 Memorial Garden – CCI Participants at SCC


Megan Young

SCC 9/11 memorial garden.

Prathiksha Thilsek, Reporter

On September 11, 2019, the 16th annual Community College Initiative (CCI) program cleared the 9/11 Memorial Garden at the Scottsdale Community College (SCC) to take part in the national service day of the United States.

The CCI program is a U.S. Department of State-sponsored program that provides participants with a one-year, non-degree academic program at a U.S. community college. 

The CCI students removed the deadheads and pruned the plants around the Cacti which were kept as the representations of the four different locations of 9/11 attack.

According to Megan Young, the CCI Program coordinator, the purpose of cleaning up the 9/11 memorial garden on the campus is to honor the victims of 9/11 and to support the community. As some of the international students are young and might not be alive during the incident, they learned about the 9/11 incident and watched a video of it.

“For some students, it was probably the first time to work outside of a garden doing physical labor of that nature, so it was interesting for some of them to get to use power clippers, put on gloves and actually, getting dirty and sweaty outside and removing all of the non-native plants and overgrowth” Megan said.

Jen Sydow, Student Services Analyst in the Center for Global Engagement was a part of creating the garden.

“Our Two Water Circle was not here in 2002, so the whole garden had been moved from a different location but they felt they are so important on campus that they make sure that the four cacti and the peace pole were then properly located,” Sydow said. “In the past student government and International Education office took care of the Garden and now it is taken care by Center for Native and Urban Wildlife (CNUW) and Sonoran Desert Club too.

Three different species of four cacti represent the Pentagon, Pennsylvania and the World Trade Center. The Peace pole was also setup saying “May the Peace Prevail on Earth” in 12 different languages spoken worldwide including two tribal languages, Pipash and Odham (Pima).