Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Living Legacy Tree Planting Project?

To commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership created the Living Legacy Tree Project, an effort to plant one tree for each of the 620,000 soldiers who died, as a living memorial for their individual and combined sacrifices. The trees are creating a 180-mile alle, from Monticello to Gettysburg, along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway and serve to remind each traveler along the way of the enormity of the loss. In doing so, The Journey Through Hallowed Ground has created the National Memorial to the Civil War Fallen.

More, each tree is being geotagged with the name and the story of each young man for whom the tree is dedicated by allowing photos, diary entries and letters home to be shared through an online website. This is the time to create and implement a living legacy for those who gave “the last full measure” during our country’s most trying time, especially in light of the fact that most of these men died anonymously.

Through partners such Ancestry & Fold3, History Esri, and others, this project has also become a national service learning program as we are working with students from around the country to research the fallen from their community and dedicating trees in their honor. Students from Virginia to Vermont have even joined us at the dedication ceremonies to personally share their soldiers’ stories.

What communities are involved?

The 15 counties and 30 historic Main Street communities are located in the JTHG National Heritage Area from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Where has this been done before?

This project is unique in its size and scope, as it has never been done before anywhere in the world. Our inaugural tree planting took place at Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, located just south of Leesburg, VA. Since then, we have hosted more than a dozen tree plantings and dedication ceremonies in Gettysburg, PA, Frederick and Williamsport in Maryland, and Leesburg, Aldie, Locust Dale, Orange, Montpelier, and Somerset in Virginia.

What does the $100 donation cover?

The donation covers the purchase of a Living Legacy tree, the costs associated with the planting of the tree, as well as the long-term maintenance of the tree.

Is the $100 Donation tax deductible?

Yes, as neither gift nor services are given to you in exchange of your donation, it is tax deductible.


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You will receive a certificate for donating a tree. In addition, donors will be acknowledged in the online map denoting where the tree is planted and the soldier it is honoring.

What if I don't know anyone who died during the Civil War? Who will my donation honor?

If you do not designate a person who died during the Civil War, either a name will be assigned to the tree or it will be dedicated in the name of one of the thousands of unknown soldiers who sacrificed their lives. You can specify if you want you donation to honor a Confederate or Union soldier or a soldier from a particular state.

Can I specify what kind of tree I want planted?

We will try to accommodate all requests. However, in order to preserve the long term health of all the trees and recognizing that each planting will be specific to the site, it may be necessary to plant a mixture of trees from the selected palette.

Will the donors be listed somewhere?

The Living Legacy Tree Project would like to acknowledge all donors. However, if a person or entity would like to remain anonymous, the organization will certainly honor this request.

Are you actually planting 620,000 trees?

The Living Legacy Project is designating one tree for each of the 620,000 Civil War soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice. While the project seeks to plant hundreds of thousands of trees, existing Heritage/Legacy trees are also being folded into the project. The Living Legacy corridor is blessed with many specimen trees that have lived for decades. The Living Legacy Project will not cut down trees to add trees but instead will honor the existing Heritage/Legacy trees as well.

What kinds of trees are you planting?

The primary palette of trees were picked to symbolize the Living Legacy Project’s mission of recovery and healing. The native Red Bud, Red Maple, Red Oak, and Red Cedar will provide a visual allée throughout the calendar year resulting in the trees being recognizable to the traveler.

When are you planting the trees?

Trees are planted throughout the year based on capacity, location, and specific planting conditions/restrictions.

How will the trees be marked?

When trees are planted, they are then geotagged and identified on the online map with the soldier information, donor information, and tree details.

Who is planning the project?

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership is working with public and private entities and individuals to facilitate the Living Legacy Tree Project. The master plan is being developed by a consultant team led by Rhodeside & Harwell Landscape Architects with The Louis Berger Group and Paul Cowie Associates.

How will the trees be planted?

The trees will be planted in a context sensitive design based on the specific location of the planting. Since the 180-mile corridor traverses rural and suburban areas as well as towns and cities, each planting will be specifically designed to meet the site needs and safety standards.

Can I specify where I want my tree planted?

All location requests will be considered and accommodated when able.

What if the soldier I want to donate in honor of is already taken? Can there be two trees to a soldier?

The intent is for each tree to represent one of the 620,000 soldiers who gave their lives during the Civil War. If the soldier has already been honored, we will work with you to find another soldier deserving of your contribution.

Do I have to dedicate my tree to a Civil War soldier? Can I donate it to my son/daughter instead?

A tree may be given to the overall Living Legacy Project in honor of a loved one. Each tree will ultimately be designated with a name of the fallen in order to represent the lives of the 620,000.