Tuscarora High School students and dozens of other volunteers rolled up their sleeves Saturday to plant 125 trees on the school campus.
The trees represent the lives of 125 soldiers lost in the Civil War. Saturday’s plantings are part of a larger effort by nonprofit organization the Journey Thorough Hallowed Ground Partnership. The organization’s Living Legacy Project, initiated in 2011, will plant one tree for each of the 620,000 casualties of the Civil War. To date, more than 4,000 trees have been planted.
Students in Tuscarora’s environmental science class took soil samples on campus with the help of Bartlett Tree Experts to select native species that should do well at the site. Meanwhile, history students are researching the soldiers’ stories and others will help geotag the trees.
“It is gratifying to see Tuscarora’s science and history departments, and really the entire school, working together to beautify the school’s grounds, while learning not only about those who gave their lives in the Civil War, but also about the impact of trees on our environment,” said Bill Sellers, president and CEO of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, which works to preserve the history along the National Scenic Byway (Rt. 15) from Gettysburg to Monticello.
“…Energized by the generous support from their community, they are connecting to real world environmental issues and the heritage of the land where they live with hands-on hard work and cool geospatial technology,” said Tuscarora environmental science teacher Miriam Westervelt. “It’s a win-win for everyone and we are so grateful.”
Bartlett Tree Experts, the Town of Leesburg, the Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District, Bowman Consulting, Home Depot and the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy have also chipped in to support the Living Legacy Project. Representatives from all the partners took part in a dedication ceremony after the trees were planted Saturday.