Williamsport, MD (PRWEB) March 25, 2014
As part of the Town of Williamsport’s annual Arbor Day celebration, community members will gather at the Springfield Barn to help plant 120 new trees. These trees will not only benefit the environment, but they will also be connected to the town’s rich Civil War history and become part of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s Living Legacy Project. This project of national significance was created to commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial by planting or dedicating one tree for each of the 620,000 soldiers who died, as a living memorial for their individual and combined sacrifices.
For the Town of Williamsport, this year’s Arbor Day tree planting and tree dedication will be one of the biggest tree planting events to date and is made possible through the support of the Maryland Forest Service. The 120 trees, being planted along the fence to the Springfield Barn and throughout Byron Memorial Park, will be dedicated to fallen soldiers who died during the Civil War. Through this collaboration, soldiers who died in Williamsport during the Civil War and soldiers who were from Williamsport and died during the Civil War will be included in the tree dedications, as well as unknown fallen soldiers. A ceremony honoring those soldiers will kick off the day beginning at 9:00 a.m., with the treeplanting to follow. The public is invited to participate in both activities.
Trees planted as part of the Living Legacy Project will eventually stretch along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, a 180-mile swath of land that runs from Gettysburg, PA to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA. Upon completion, the Living Legacy Project will be the first 180-mile landscaped allée in the world and the only allée dedicated to honoring the most defining moment in American history. The project will create a unified color palette that reminds visitors that they are, indeed, on hallowed ground. It was upon the battlefields within this region that many of the soldiers who fought, died during the American Civil War, one of our country’s most defining moments. A signature palette of seasonal trees and plantings, including redbuds, red oaks, red maple, and red cedar have been selected to represent the courage and valor of the individuals being honored with this project. The native selection is appropriate to the diverse landscapes along this historic corridor, and remains sensitive to the local ecology, scenic views, and development patterns.
The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership is actively engaged in raising the necessary funds to complete this $65 million initiative. Individuals, businesses, schools, and community groups from around the world can contribute to this project. The JTHG Partnership is seeking $100 contributions to support and plant each tree. Donors may select a soldier to honor, as the trees will be geo-tagged to allow Smart Phone users to learn the story of the soldier, providing a strong educational component to engage interest in the region’s historical heritage and literally bring the tree to life. Over 350 organizational partners of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership are already engaged with the Living Legacy Project. And, Ancestry’s Fold3 project has come collaborated with the organization to engage schools in researching the stories of the individual fallen soldiers. “Fifty years from now, during the bicentennial of the Civil War, the Living Legacy Project will be considered the finest example of homage in our country,” said JTHG President Cate Magennis Wyatt. “Now is the time to create and implement a living legacy for those who gave ‘the last full measure,’ many of whom have never been honored.”
For more information on the Living Legacy Project, visit http://www.hallowedground.org.
The Town of Williamsport is dedicated to improving the community by planting more trees. In 2010, the Town of Williamsport earned the distinction as a Tree City USA by meeting four standards set by the Arbor Day Foundation. In 2011, the University of Vermont conducted an Urban Tree Canopy Assessment to evaluate which community areas needed trees planted the most. Byron Memorial Park was identified as one of the largest areas in need of more trees. Every year, Williamsport hosts at least one tree planting event in the spring, and a clean-up event in the fall to ensure these trees are being properly maintained. In the evening of March 29th, the town will also host an Environmental Fair to celebrate Earth Hour.