Students at Tuscarora High School spent part of Saturday with their hands in the dirt to help with a project that will both beautify the school and set the roots of a lasting history lesson.
More than 50 volunteers planted 65 trees at the entrance to the Leesburg school’s campus as part of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s Living Legacy Project, an ambitious effort to plant or dedicate a specific tree for each of the 620,000 soldiers who died during the Civil War.
Saturday’s planting means that students entering the campus next spring will be greeted by the brilliant blooms of redbud trees, but the students’ work is not over.
The school’s environmental science students took on stewardship of the planting site and will ensure the trees are watered regularly. History students will research the fallen soldiers being honored with each tree, which will be geotagged to share the story of the soldier’s life.
“This project has been a real inspiration to our school, aligning beautifully with our ‘One to the World’ initiative by connecting our students with environmental and historic preservation professionals in ways that integrate environmental stewardship, technology, and relevance to their daily lives,” Miriam Westervelt, Tuscarora High School Environmental Science teacher, said in a statement.
The 65 trees also were planted to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Junior Woman’s Club of Loudoun. Club members and other donors contributed funds to support the project.
“Our members have built a legacy of service in Loudoun County and this partnership with the Journey and Tuscarora High School is an excellent way to celebrate our anniversary, further expand our reach and engage with community members,” JWCL President Trina Behbahani said.
The Living Legacy Project eventually will stretch along the 180-mile Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway corridor between Gettysburg, PA, to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville.