Heather McIntyre represented Travel Experts at the spring "Tourism Cares" event in Leesburg, VA. The site chosen for this project was The Journey Through Hallowed Ground, a recently dedicated National Heritage Area that spans the distance from Gettysburg, PA., through Maryland and Harper’s Ferry, WV., down to Monticello in Charlottesville, VA. This is a 180-mile long and 75-mile wide area which, as the JTHG folks say, is “Where America Happened.” It is a collective of battlefields, Presidential homes, historic towns and 13 national parks.
One of the tasks that JTHG has taken on is to memorialize all of the soldiers lost in the Civil War. To that end, 620,000 trees will be planted over this swath of land over the next couple of decades and each tree will be designated to represent a specific soldier. Middle and high school students will be doing research to find out what happened to the fallen from their hometowns and all of that information will be put into a database. The trees will be geotagged and given codes that can be scanned so visitors can read about the people represented by each tree.