On January 12, current and alumni families gathered at the Living Lab for this very special O’Dowd tradition that honors families’ deceased loved ones by planting memorial trees in the Living Lab. This year’s planting marked the 30th anniversary of the Costa family gathering in the Living Lab to plant trees in Anna’s honor. After a welcome and procession down to the Living Lab’s Memorial Circle, Anna’s father Steve Costa and other family members spoke to all participants and families had an opportunity to remember and share the loved ones they had lost. Families shared stories of beloved grandfathers, siblings, children, and spouses. The crowd joined together in prayer and former O’Dowd teacher Tom Tyler spoke to the meaning of this event for our community.
Each year students who take a significant role in the Living Lab are recognized and awarded the Anna Costa scholarship. Last year’s recipients–Joe Sweeney ‘20 and Shuming Xu ‘20–were recognized for their contributions at this year’s event. This year, participants planted 35 trees and smaller plants around the pond to create a riparian zone. The planting sites were well-prepared with holes and compost thanks to O’Dowd’s student Ecoleaders. Annie Prutzman gave a demonstration and guests chose a tree and worked together on planting.
After the trees were planted, everyone enjoyed hot cider and treats were. One participant shared, “Planting trees each year gives new life to the earth and has helped heal our grief.” Many thanks to all of the families who attended this year’s Anna Costa ‘90 Memorial Tree Planting. Coming together in remembrance of loved ones and helping to enhance and sustain the habitat of O’Dowd’s Living Lab with love is truly good work.