Tuscarora Plants Trees for a Purpose

Environmental Science and U.S. History students at Tuscarora High School recently planted 50 new trees on their campus in partnership with the Journey Through Hallowed Ground (JTHG) Living Legacy Project. 


The Living Legacy Project, initiated in 2011 by the Journey Thorough Hallowed Ground as part of the sesquicentennial commemoration, is planting one tree for each of the more than 620,000 casualties of the American Civil War within the history-rich Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, along the National Scenic Byway (U.S. Route 15) from Gettysburg to Monticello.


“We are so proud to support the students of Tuscarora High School with this project,” said Bill Sellers, President and CEO of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership.  “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.”


Tuscarora High School students and volunteers collaborated to plant these 50 trees to commemorate the lives – and deaths – of Civil War soldiers. The school’s environmental science students gained hands-on experience planting trees with an in-depth lesson from Bartlett Tree Experts. History students are researching the soldiers’ stories. Students also helped geo-tag each tree, so they can be digitally connected to the soldier they represent.


Tuscarora has been a leader in environmental stewardship since it opened in 2010—when it received national and county awards for the sensitivity of its eco-friendly design to the local stream ecosystem—to this year when it became an official Virginia Naturally Recognized School with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for its commitment to environmental education. The persistent efforts of Tuscarora students and staff are responsible for the school becoming the first school in Loudoun County to receive a grant from Virginia’s Conservation Assistance Program to improve riparian habitat and the first high school to receive certification as a wildlife sanctuary with the national Audubon at Home program of the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, both in 2017.


“This project is a perfect way to build on our tradition of stewardship in a meaningful way for students that also aligns with the new personalized learning initiative of LCPS. With each tree planted, students are building connections in community engagement and civic responsibility. Even up to their 25th high school reunion when they pass these trees they planted, they will remember the science and history lessons they learned today,” said Tuscarora Science Department Chair Dr. Miriam Westervelt.