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Trees will commemorate fallen Civil War soldiers

photoVirginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton announces that the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership will receive $300,000 in grant money from the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board for a program to plant 620,000 trees, one for every soldier who died during the Civil War, during a press conference at Oatlands Plantation Feb. 25. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny

Virginians will be able to honor its fallen Civil War soldiers and commemorate their memories with the planting of thousands of trees along the U.S. 15 corridor this year, the sesquicentennial of the war.

Sean Connaughton, Virginia’s secretary of transportation, today announced that the commonwealth would provide $300,000 to the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s Living Legacy Tree Planting program to honor those who died during the Civil War.

The partnership created the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area and National Scenic Byway, which contain the largest collection of Civil War sites in the nation spanning more than 150 miles from Gettysburg, Pa. to Charlottesville.

The tree program would plant one tree costing $100 for every soldier who died during the Civil War, totaling 620,000 fallen soldiers. The program will use the U.S. Park Service registry to mark off documented soldiers.

“We have the privilege of living here, and we have the responsibility of sharing those stories” and doing so by lifting spirits and benefiting the community, said Cate Magennis Wyatt, president of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership. Magennis Wyatt said the tree program will provide an opportunity to do right by the generation that came before us, while also sharing those lessons learned to current and future generations.

Connaugton said the commonwealth is putting forward the funds to start the planting process as a way of “reminding people about the war and all the sacrificies that occurred toward it.” The trees “seemed both eloquent as well as appropriate,” he said.

The funds will initially fund a comprehensive plan and engineering design that will detail a master landscape plan to install and care for the trees along the National Scenic Byway. The plan will be developed in phases during four years marking the sesquicentennial of the Civil War from 2011 to 2015.

Virginia’s contribution represents nearly 25 percent of the grant money the partnership needs for the project. Private sector funding will match Virginia’s contribution. Warner Home Video will provide a monetary gift for each deceased solider, Magennis Wyatt said. Warner Home Video filmed “Gods and Generals” in Gettysburg, Pa.


“Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do”.
                    Ronald Reagan 1981

Sounds like these liberal Republicans in Richmond are in bed with tree huggin’ Communists!

Does anyone have any ideas how to stop this nonsense and call for a reversal of funding by VDOT?  Albeit, it might restrict the fancy lifestyles of the paid JTHG staff as the accountability of the revenue has not been transparent.  This is another example of crazy spending.  Can I have the contract to plant the trees? I would like a new Mercedes and a trip to Europe.  My toes need sucking.

What a ridiculous waste of time and energy. Do something that actually contributes to society. There are still so many issues to be addressed. Look at all the idiots that come out of the woodwork singing Dixie and crying, “The Civil War was not about slavery,” anytime something like this comes up.


The most feasible effortwould be,is to build a beautiful monument in Gettysburg,with the honored deads names,motion picture facility to memorize their extreme sacrifice,under the U.S.Park Service.Many people have not addressed the Gettysburg Park,its beauty,it will keep the gambling hippocrates out.A wonderful trip for a family to remember.

Journey Through Hallowed Wallets

Journey Through Hollowed Wallets

Come on, plant a tree, watch it grow, so big, so pretty, along comes the Power Company (Pepco, Dominion, etc) chop, chop gone.  Start again, plant a tree…....

Let’s spend the money on placing those cables underground and commemorate their memories with a little sign, every mile.

Imad.Salous@VDOT.Virginia.gov, Paul.Stahl@VDOT.Virginia.gov
Send e-mails and let them know they are spending too much of our tax dollars on this “honorary designation”.  The trees can be purchased for less than $1.00 from the Loudoun County Extension Office and be planted by the JTHG summer camp students.  Has anyone tracked the money this group takes in and where it goes?  A little transparency would be appreciated.

How dare they! This money could have been spent on the Outer Beltway! We could have used this money to launch another witch hunt against a former public university professor! I AM OUTRAGED!

Aren’t trees $19.99 at Home Depot?
Besides, after a few winters, they’ll all be taken out by cars sliding off the road.
Guess this is economic stimulus. Who chooses their road to travel based on the trees?
I don’t get it either…

There are several ways these trees will help, including economically. Along the National Scenic Byway, there are 30 historic downtown communities (including Leesburg) with shops, restaurants, hotels and inns, along with a variety of other revenue generators and job providers.  In addition to the trees providing obvious environmental benefits and service learning opportunities for students of all ages to learn about our national heritage and engage in it, the trees can help steer visitors to those downtown areas. I think those communities would welcome the added business. And while the state of Virginia put in $300K, that money has nearly been matched by other donors.  More importantly.  It’s a small amount of money for the Commonwealth that has a huge economic upside.  And there are a variety of ways to plant trees besides in a straight line.  So planting them every 2.9 is a severely limited way at looking at this.

This is a joke right? As a state we are looking to cut programs to save money and we can come up more then a quarter of a million to plant trees. Has our leaders lost their minds. Flood Frank Wolf’s in box this has to stop.

It is about 170 miles from C’ville to Gettysburg using Rts. 15/29.  One would need to plant trees every 2.9 feet without interruption on both sides of the road to accommodate 620,000.  While this highlights the significance and scale of our nation’s loss, it also points to the folly of the current effort.  There is your comprehensive plan.  Can I have $300,000?

I suggest we plant a tree every 10 yards on Rt 1 from Maine to Florida. Each tree can represent an illegal alien here sucking the life out of our economy.

I don’t know what century s.elliott is from or what country. But they do teach history in the public schools in Loudoun County and last I heard through out the United states. Civil War history is one of my son’s favorite subjects.

If you don’t teach history in public schools, the population will never understand the signiicance of the act of planting these trees.

This is ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  All of the transportation needs here in Virginia and they are using their money TO PLANT TREES?????????????  WHAT AN OUTRAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are kidding me, right? $100 per tree for 620,000 civil war dead?  Why in this time of austerity would anyone even think there was a shred of a reason to spend 62 million dollars planting trees?  This is the greatest boondoggle yet by Cate Wyatt and her hobby group AKA “Journey Through Hallowed Ground.”

All the available money will be used to do the planning and skimmed for expenses by JTHG and if more than 10,000 trees ever end up in the ground I’ll be very surprised.

I would imagine there are sufficient unemployed people in the area that you could get trees planted for far less than 62 million dollars.

Please, do a story on the JTHG finances and it will be fascinating to your readers.


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