GETTYSBURG, Pa., Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary Ellen Ferretti today participated in a ceremony dedicating 168 trees on the Bliss Farm in Gettysburg as part of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Living Legacy Project.
"In addition to their many environmental benefits, trees are a symbol of life and growth. These trees will serve as living monuments at this place where we reflect on the sacrifices made by so many during the American Civil War, one of our nation's most defining moments," Ferretti said.
Funding for 150 of the apple trees was contributed by the DCNR TreeVitalize program, Pennsylvania Urban & Community Forestry Council and WITF Public Radio. The new trees will help restore the historic orchard on the farm, a part of the Gettysburg National Military Park. The number of sponsored trees was chosen to mark the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Gettysburg. An additional donation provided through the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership allowed for 18 additional trees to be added to the planting.
TreeVitalize is a DCNR public-private partnership effort to increase public awareness of the importance of community trees, and to reverse the loss of tree cover in the state's communities.
Supported by DCNR's Bureau of Forestry grants and municipal, private agency and company involvement, TreeVitalize is dependent on community support to increase tree canopies, and educate and engage citizens in the care and selection of these new trees.
"We are happy to support this project which demonstrates the important role that trees, landscapes and our natural resources play during some of our most important national moments," Ferretti said. "TreeVitalize is also a great public-private partnership that embodies the success that can be achieved through shared goals and shared support."
The Bliss Farm, which is located just off the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, was abandoned by the family prior to the Battle of Gettysburg. Laying in the valley between Seminary Ridge and Cemetery Ridge, it was in the middle of Lee's and Meade's armies.
On July 2 and July 3, 1863, the farm was exchanged many times between Union and Confederate troops due to its strategic position and offerings. Around 11:15 a.m. on the morning of July 3, 1863, the house, bank barn and other outbuildings were burnt to the ground.
Trees planted as part of the Living Legacy Project will stretch along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, a 180-mile swath of land that runs from Gettysburg to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia.
For more information on TreeVitalize, visit www.treevitalize.net.
For more information on the Living Legacy Project, visit www.hallowedground.org.
Media contact: Christina Novak, 717-772-9101
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources