Category Archives: Living Legacy

Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association Partners with JTHG on Living Legacy Tree Project



Secretary Haymore receives tree from Brent Hunsinger of VNLA.

Secretary Haymore receives tree from Brent Hunsinger of VNLA.

The Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association (VNLA) recognized members of the 2015 Virginia General Assembly, Governor Terry McAuliffe, and his entire cabinet with a donation of native trees to the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Living Legacy Tree Planting Project.  The trees will be dedicated at an April 20 ceremony at the Historic Montpelier Train Station, located on the grounds of James Madison’s Montpelier near Orange, Virginia, at 1:00 p.m.

Brad Copenhaver from Virginia Agribusiness Council, Brent Hunsinger of VNLA, and Delegate Ed Scott.

Brad Copenhaver from Virginia Agribusiness Council, Brent Hunsinger of VNLA, and Delegate Ed Scott.

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s Living Legacy Tree Planting Project is an effort to honor the 620,000 fallen soldiers of the Civil War by planting one tree for each who died during this country’s most defining moment.  In doing so, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s Living Legacy Tree Project will become a National Memorial for the Civil War Fallen.  VNLA members thought it fitting to honor Virginia’s legislators and staff for their careful decision-making on topics affecting Virginia residents and the state’s green industry with a donation that not only beautifies, but pays homage to the ultimate sacrifice made by thousands who came before them.

Brent Hunsinger of VNLA presents tree to Secretary Ward.

Brent Hunsinger of VNLA presents tree to Secretary Ward.

Honorees that will be attending the ceremony include Commonwealth of Virginia Senator Emmett Hanger Jr., Commonwealth of Virginia Delegate Edward T. Scott, Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward, and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore.  “The VNLA is comprised of hundreds of growers, garden centers and landscape professionals, all who want to show support and appreciation for the steadfast work of the General Assembly and staff who keep our state progressing forward,” VNLA President, Sonya Lepper Westervelt, said. “We view the General Assembly as Virginia’s ‘root system’ supporting the Commonwealth and her residents. Similar to the Living Legacy trees, the legislative seeds planted during the 2015 Regular Session will continue to grow in impact and allow future generations to thrive.”

Brent Hunsinger of VNLA presents tree to Senator Hanger.

Brent Hunsinger of VNLA presents tree to Senator Hanger.

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.  It was upon the battlefields within this region that many of the soldiers who fought and died over 150 years ago.  Upon completion, the Living Legacy Tree Project will create the first 180-mile planned landscape in the world.  For more information on the Living Legacy Project, visit www.hallowedgroundtrees.org.

Preserving Battlefields within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground



While the Journey Through Hallowed Ground covers four centuries of American history, few eras are more densely represented within its boundaries than the Civil War. In fact, many of the conflict’s most iconic engagements occurred along the Journey, making the Civil War Trust an enthusiastic supporter of the partnership’s mission.

Tracing its origins to 1987, when a group of concerned historians met in Fredericksburg, VA, to discuss the loss of Northern Virginia battlefields to the expanding suburbs of Washington, D.C.,the Trust has grown to become the nation’s premier heritage land preservation organization. In total, the organization has permanently protected, either through outright purchase or strategic conservation easement, more than 40,000 acres of battlefield land at 122 sites in 20 states.

Chancellorsville (Shenk) 1499Examining the concentration of those achievements along the Journey corridor emphasizes the historic significance of this region in tangible terms. To date, the Trust has preserved land at 22 individual battlefields within the Journey, accounting for nearly one-third of all the land the organization has protected — 13,395 acres through December 15, 2014!

At the northern terminus of the Journey, 943 of those acres are at Gettysburg, the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. In Maryland and West Virginia, we have saved 1,412 acres associated with the Antietam Campaign, which spurred Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

And in the rolling Virginia piedmont, we’ve saved a tremendous 1,901 acres associated with the largest cavalry battle ever fought in the western hemisphere, Brandy Station — including, with the Journey’s support, the crest of storied Fleetwood Hill. A full list of the Journey battlefields where the Civil War Trust has protected land is included below; the full tally is available at: www.civilwar.org/land-preservation/land-saved/

CWT2Even as we pause to contemplate the breadth of that involvement and accomplishment, it is important to remember what, even more than geography, ties these places together: the sacrifices and bravery of our ancestors. True to the Journey’s name, these battlefields are, indeed, hallowed ground, blood-soaked and perpetual.

A protected battlefield is not just an artifact of the past; it can be many things of value in our modern society, all of which play a role in the Journey’s larger mission. An outdoor classroom where students of all ages can touch an artifact, the landscape itself, that played a role it historic events — and provide a fantastic backdrop for “Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student” productions. An environmental resource, maintaining green space and providing habitats for native plants and animals. A powerful economic engine — ask any Certified Tourism Ambassador! — through the proven formula of heritage tourism.

But, perhaps, most importantly, these battlefields are living monument to the memory of America’s brave soldiers, past, present and future. Through their longevity, they are simultaneously a tangible link to the past and a bridge to future generations. In this same spirit, the Civil War Trust is an enthusiastic supporter of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground’s Living Legacy Project, a demonstrable showcase of the true toll the Civil War exacted on our nation, the more than 620,000 Americans who perished.

In 2015, we will mark the end of the Civil War sesquicentennial commemoration period, but the Trust’s commitment to preservation, and our partnership with the Journey Through Hallowed Ground will continue. In fact, we look forward to deepening our involvement in the region through the recently launched Campaign 1776, which will engage in parallel work — protecting battlefield land and educating the public about American history — related to the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

CWT1Battlefields in the Journey Through Hallowed Ground where the Civil War Trust has preserved acreage include:

Maryland Sites — 897.44 Acres

Antietam
Monocacy
South Mountain

Pennsylvania Sites — 943 Acres

Gettysburg

Virginia Sites — 10,458.17 Acres

Aldie
Ball’s Bluff
Brandy Station
Bristoe Station
Buckland
Cedar Mountain
Chancellorsville
Cool Spring
Fredericksburg
Kelly’s Ford
Manassas
Middleburg
Mine Run
Rappahannock Station
Spotsylvania Court House
Thoroughfare Gap
Trevilian Station
Upperville
Wilderness

West Virginia Sites — 658.8 Acres

Harpers Ferry
Shepherdstown

In The News In 2014



IMG_7961

As the year’s end approaches, it is an appropriate time to reflect on the past.  We are fortunate at the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area to have so many wonderful stakeholders: donors, volunteers, community partners, and the media. 

To recap 2014, we thought it would be good to share with you the work of our various programs and activities through the lens of the media.  We appreciate the willingness of the writers, reporters, and photographers who helped spread the word of our various work.  As a result, we have picked the Top 12 stories that best represent our diverse programs.

EXTREME JOURNEY SUMMER CAMP

1. Leesburg Today, August 7

http://www.leesburgtoday.com/news/extreme-journey-camp-brings-history-to-life/article_3e77d2e8-1827-11e4-a08f-0019bb2963f4.html

LIVING LEGACY TREE PLANTING PROJECT

2.  USA Today, November 13

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/11/13/tennessee-redbuds-to-memorialize-civil-war-soldiers/18988159/

3. Washington Post, July 10

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-living-tribute-to-civil-war-soldiers/2014/07/09/c29bb852-ff9d-11e3-8fd0-3a663dfa68ac_story.html

4. American Nurseryman, September issue

http://www.amerinursery-digital.com/sep2014#&pageSet=8&contentItem=0

5. Military Times, July 21

http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140718/NEWS/307180063/620-000-trees-honor-fallen-Civil-War-soldiers

6. Civil War Courier, Jan. 1

http://www.civilwarcourier.com/?p=99887

NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA/TOURISM

7. Eastern Home & Travel, April issue

http://thejuncture.hallowedground.org/homeandtravel.pdf

8. AAA Motorist, October issue

http://thejuncture.hallowedground.org/AAA_Motorist.pdf

9. Southern Living, October 11

http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2014/10/11/the-journey-through-hallowed-ground/

10. Find it Frederick Magazine, Winter issue:

http://issuu.com/pulsepublishing/docs/fif_wint14_web/72?e=1941129/6176723

OF THE STUDENT, BY THE STUDENT, FOR THE STUDENT PROJECT

11. Daily Progress, May 29

http://www.dailyprogress.com/orangenews/lifestyles/of-the-student-by-the-student-for-the-student/article_71c1980c-e751-11e3-9ca5-0017a43b2370.html

CERTIFIED TOURISM AMBASSADOR PROGRAM

12. Frederick News Post, October 3

http://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/economy_and_business/business_topics/tourism/regional-tourism-gets-new-ambassadors/article_8b4dd9c6-eb33-58c1-8d2a-4c551ea2bd3c.html

This list represents local, regional, and national media coverage.  We look forward to more opportunities to share our message in 2015 and thank all our stakeholders for contributing to our success.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

National Teacher Seminar Scheduled in Middleburg



In collaboration with Ancestry, and its affiliates Fold3.com and AncestryK12.com, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership is inviting teachers to participate in a professional development seminar on how to engage students in a service-learning program using primary source-based research.  This service-learning program introduces students to primary source documents as they examine fallen Civil War soldiers from their own communities. By learning about these men, history—both local and national—comes alive for the participating researchers. As they get to know “their” soldier, students make connections between their lives and those that came before them, ultimately allowing them to understand that this war impacted every single American.

Ancestry Senior Executive Brock Bierman and JTHG President Cate Magennis Wyatt sign a partnership agreement during a tree planting ceremony at Gettysburg National Military Park on November 19, 2013.

Ancestry Senior Executive Brock Bierman and JTHG President Cate Magennis Wyatt sign a partnership agreement during a tree planting ceremony at Gettysburg National Military Park on November 19, 2013.

Once completed, the research is used for the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s Living Legacy Tree Planting Project, an initiative with the goal of planting one tree for each of the 620,000 fallen Civil War soldiers, becoming the first national memorial for the most defining time in our nation’s history.  Students around the country are already conducting research on the individual lives of these soldiers, which are then uploaded and shared through an online, interactive map. This map indentifies every tree planted through a geotag, which allows visitors the opportunity to learn the name and story of the young man for whom the tree is planted, with photos, diary entries, and letters home also shared.  To date, over 300 students in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Vermont have collected information on over 800 soldiers. Additionally, over 5,000 facts, images, and stories have been uploaded to the Honor Wall pages hosted by Ancestry.com’s affiliate site, Fold3.com.

The Living Legacy Teacher Seminar will be held 10:00-4:00 p.m. on December 7-8 at the National Sporting Library & Museum in Middleburg.  This free, two-day professional development seminar is being offered to any educator interested in bringing this groundbreaking curriculum and service-learning project to their students. Throughout this program, participating educators will receive in-depth training in genealogy research as led byAncestry.com experts and participate in stimulating discussion on the role, value, and implementation of service-learning curriculum.  Participants will also be the first to see, and provide feedback, on a new curriculum being developed, known as Living Legacy Tree Planting Project: A Teacher’s Guide to Engaging Students with the National Civil War Memorial, which will connect the social sciences to language arts, STEM, and GIS (geographic information system) standards of learning.

Attending teachers will receive a $350 stipend in return for their time and to help defray any travel and accommodation expenses.  Lunch will also be provided both days.  In return, all participating educators must commit to incorporating portions of the Living Legacy curriculum into their classrooms before the end of the current school year.

Two other teacher seminars have been held to date, including one hosted at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, which brought teachers together with industry leaders such as the Virginia Geographic Alliance and ESRI.  A second teacher seminar was held at Manassas National Battlefield in partnership with Ancestry.com experts.  The goal of the third seminar, which is funded in part by a grant from Ancestry, is to identify and train 30 teachers that will be able to engage an additional 2,000 students across the country.

National Sporting Library & Museum, courtesy of Visit Loudoun

National Sporting Library & Museum, courtesy of Visit Loudoun

The National Sporting Library & Museum, located within the heart of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, is conveniently located 20 miles from Dulles International Airport in Middleburg, Va.  To learn more about the National Sporting Library & Museum, visit www.nsl.org.  Teachers interested in registering for the seminar can visit www.hallowedground.org.

Student Engagement with the Living Legacy Tree Planting Project



The Living Legacy Tree Planting Project is a massive undertaking that the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership launched in 2010. By planting one tree for each of the 620,000 fallen Civil War soldiers, we will be creating the first national memorial for the most defining time in our nation’s history. Though the planting of such a large number of trees is monumental in its own right, from my perspective the most looming aspect of this project includes our educational outreach initiatives.

From the outset, we knew that this memorial needed to honor each of the fallen as an individual—what better way to do that, we thought, than by encouraging students around the country to research the soldiers’ lives and share them with the world on an interactive map? Through a collaborative relationship with Ancestry.com and Fold3.com, we are working with youth as they use primary source documents to examine soldiers from their own communities. By learning about these men, history—both local and national—comes alive for the participating researchers. As they get to know “their” soldier, students make connections between their lives and those that came before them, ultimately allowing them to understand that this war impacted every single American.

This hands-on, student-driven approach to education has been proven to be one of the most effective and life-changing ways to teach. Students working on similar projects frequently see an increase in test scores, become more civically engaged as adults, and associate themselves as lifelong learners. To date, we have partnered with over 300 students in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Vermont in the gathering of information on nearly 800 soldiers. Additionally, over 5,000 facts, images, and stories have been uploaded to Honor Wall pages hosted by Ancestry.com’s affiliate site, Fold3.com.

IMG_8024

Thanks to a grant awarded by the Virginia Geographic Alliance, we were able to convene numerous teachers and professors from around the state, along with industry leaders like ESRI, to a summit last October hosted at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. During this meeting, we worked to identify some of the specific needs the education component of Living Legacy must address, including geo-literacy and introductory GIS-skills. Though many of the professors were skeptical about our intentions, they all commented on how impressive it was to hear that many teachers are already successfully incorporating GIS (geographic information systems) into their elementary classrooms. From this summit, the first batch of student researchers were born, many of whom attended our planting ceremony at the historic Bliss Farm in Gettysburg National Military Park to see “their” soldiers’ tree.

Following the teacher summit and successful round of initial student research, we teamed up with Ancestry.com and Fold3.com to offer a teacher professional development seminar in January 2014, led by Senior Directors Brock Bierman and Gordon Atkinson and Genealogist Amy Johnson Crow. During this daylong session, participants learned genealogy research best practices and ways to engage their students in Living Legacy soldier research.

IMG_2246Using these experiences as a launch pad, last week we were awarded funds from Ancestry.com to develop a standardized curriculum. Known as Living Legacy In a Box, this material will be designed specifically to connect primary source-based genealogy research and local history to other subject areas, such as geography, STEM, and the language arts. During the pilot stage of implementing Living Legacy In a Box, we aim to reach 30 teachers around the country, with a target of 2,000 student researchers. If you are interested in bringing this groundbreaking program to your school, let us know. It has been an incredible start to this amazing living memorial project and I am eager to bring it to more schools, more teachers, and more students over the next couple of months.

500 Trees to Be Dedicated to Civil War Fallen



In its continuing effort to appropriately commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership will host a Living Legacy Tree Planting Project ceremony, scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 29th at 2:30 p.m., at Oatlands Historic House and Gardens in Leesburg, Virginia. We are thrilled that the The Commandant’s Own, the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps and the official Color Guard of the Marine Corps will be participating in the ceremony. The 60 members of this prestigious military group will perform as part of the ceremony, which is free and open to the public.

screenshot- 2014-06-09 at 2.09.52 PMThe United States Marine Corps Drum & Bugle Corps and the Official Color Guard of the Marine Corps are part of the Marine Corps Detachment attached to Marine Barracks Washington, also known as the “Oldest Post of the Corps.” These Marines have agreed to participate in the June 29th Ceremony to honor the over 500 fallen Civil War soldiers who will be commemorated with newly planted and dedicated trees along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, Rt. 15.  The Marine Corps Color Guard carries the official Battle Colors of the Marine Corps. The 54 streamers and silver bands displayed on the battle colors commemorate the military campaigns in which Marines have participated. They span the entire history of the nation, from the American Revolution to the present.

The June 29th Living Legacy Tree Project Planting Ceremony is scheduled the week of Independence Day and serves as a reminder to us of the sacrifice made by generations before.  This planting is part of the Living Legacy Tree Planting project, a sweeping and ambitious effort to plant or dedicate a tree for each of the more than 620,000 soldiers who died during the American Civil War and was launched by the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership to create an appropriate legacy for the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Each tree is geotagged to share the name of the soldier, where he was born, where he died and include the story of the soldier’s life.

These particular trees are being planted adjacent to Oatlands’ property along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground (JTHG) National Scenic Byway, which was designated by Congress as the 99th scenic byway in the country.  Oatlands is at the geographical center of the JTHG National Scenic Byway, is one of two National Trust for Historic Preservation sites within the corridor, and served as the site for the inaugural Living Legacy Tree Planting Project.

Oatlands

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. © Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

In addition to the musical interlude, remarks will be given by JTHG Partnership President Cate Magennis Wyatt, Ancestry.com Senior Executive Brock Bierman, and local elected officials. Students who have been researching the stories of the fallen soldiers will also be on hand to dedicate the trees that day.  Oatlands will be offering free admission to the mansion for anyone attending the ceremony, and welcomes visitors to join the opening of their Annual Art Show with a reception beginning at 5:30 in the Carriage House.

This will be the seventh planting ceremony, each one of which recognizes the individuals for whom the tree is planted.  Previous tree plantings have taken place in Leesburg, Virginia, Williamsport, Maryland, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and have included such dignitaries as National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, National Trust for Historic Preservation President & CEO Stephanie Meeks, former Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton, and others.  “This is one of the most beautiful and inspiring ideas I have ever seen – this notion of planting a living tree for each person that fell in the Civil War,” Meeks said.

As plantings continue, the Living Legacy Tree 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.  The JTHG National Scenic Byway, which crosses the Mason Dixon Line, serves as a link to each of the battlefields and connects over 30 historic communities, each of which was gravely impacted by the Civil War.  The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area holds the largest concentration of Civil War battlefield sites in the country, including the beginning of the War (Harpers Ferry and Manassas), the middle (Antietam and Gettysburg) and the end, (Appomattox).

The Living Legacy Project will create a unified color palette that reminds visitors that they are, indeed, on hallowed ground.  Upon completion, this initiative will create the first 180 mile landscaped allee in the world and the only allee dedicated to honoring the most defining moment in American history.  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. A secondary palette, including canopy and understory trees, evergreens, shrubs, and ground coverings, will also feature red as a predominant color, with plantings including black gum trees, sassafras, and winterberry.  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 Living Legacy Tree Project touched me when I read about it in USA Today, such a noble tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Michael A. Dirr, Ph.D, a horticulturist, author, and one of the leading experts on horticulture.  “How could anyone not want to contribute to such a movement? 620,000 trees may seem daunting but the cause is worthy and achievable.”

It’s amazing the support we have received to accomplish this particular planting.  Without companies like Ancestry.com, Asplundh Tree Co, Capital Party Rentals, Clem’s Garage, Design Build Construction, Dominion, Don’s Johns, Enterprise, ESRI, Hart Tree Preservation, Jackson Nursery, Lee Highway Nursery, Lowe Products Company, Inc., Oatlands Historic House & Gardens, Poly Processing, Ratcliff Masonry, Ryder, Saunders Nursery, Virginia News Group, Winchester Equipment, and others, this planting wouldn’t be taking place.  This is something everyone can get behind.  Therefor, we hope other businesses, schools, community groups, and individuals will contribute to this project.  In addition, 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 bringing the tree to life.  For more information, check out the Living Legacy Project’s dedicated website at www.hallowedgroundtrees.org.

News Story

Top 2013 News Stories



As a new year begins, we want to take a minute and reflect on the past year.  2013 was a fabulous year for the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, which can be reflected in the media coverage we received throughout the year.  We thank our wonderful media partners, including the numerous local media outlets throughout our 15 county region that covered our events and projects throughout the year.  I have compiled a Top 10 list of the best news stories for 2013, highlighting an article or two for each of our major projects and initiatives, including our educational programs, the Living Legacy Tree Project, our National Heritage Area, the Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) Program, and more.  These articles provide a great overview of the respective efforts.

Educational Programs

1.  Daily Progress, Oct. 23

2.  NPS Sentinel, Spring 2013

Living Legacy Tree Project

3.  USA Today, December 21

4.  TCIA Magazine, Sept. 2013

5.  Landscape Architecture Magazine, March 2013

Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area

6.  US FrontLine, June 20

7.  The Stamp Pad, Summer 2013

8.  Park Advocate, November 19

Regional History

9.  Black Meetings & Travel, January 18

Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) Program

10.  The Central Virginian, June 20

In addition to the local newspaper articles, there were countless other articles, including write-ups in the Washington Post, bthere, Hallowed Ground Magazine, and Marine Corps Times.  There were television appearances on ABC27, NBC4, NewsChannel 8, Daytime TV, and an NBC29 story, as well as various radio station interviews (WTOP, WFMD, WITF, etc.).

In fact, here are two more honorable mentions that we have to share – thanks to Kate Kelly (Huffington Post) and the New York Times.

Huffington Post, October 1

New York Times, March 8