Volunteers planting 300 trees in honor of late Rep. John Lewis on his 81st birthday

ATLANTA — Volunteers are planting 300 trees in honor of the late Rep. John Lewis on the weekend of what would have been his birthday.

Lewis, who died of pancreatic cancer on July 12, 2020, would have been 81 on Sunday.

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Volunteers will plant hundreds of blooming trees in Freedom Park over three days, creating a “Flowering Forest” in honor of the Civil Rights icon. The trees will be planted surrounding John Lewis Plaza, neaerr the sculpture The Bridge by Thornton Dial.

The event coincides with Georgia Arbor Day, which was Feb. 19, and Black History Month. The anniversary of the multi-year project will be recognized annually during Black History Month.

The event was organized by Trees Atlanta, the Freedom Park Conservancy and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and was sponsored by UPS, the Arbor Day Foundation and the City of Atlanta.

A silent march in Lewis’ honor is also planned for Sunday afternoon. Participants plan to march from the MLK Center carrying sparklers starting at 1 p.m.

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