Bartlett Tree Planting Honoring Fallen Civil War Soldiers
Travel Industry Unites to Leave a Legacy during National Travel & Tourism Week
Volunteers planted over 1,000 trees along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway
Leesburg, VA —May 11, 2015 —Hundreds of travel professionals from 30 states and more than 50 companies celebrated National Travel & Tourism week by helping the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s Living Legacy Project – an initiative designed to plant a tree for each of the 620,000 fallen Civil War soldiers.
Twenty groups of volunteers planted more than 1,000 trees along a 4-mile stretch of Route 15 in Leesburg, VA the geographic center of the scenic byway. At the end of the work day, volunteers donated 5,000 volunteer hours and more than $40,000 in labor costs.
“Tourism is one of the top industries within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, generating over $4.2 Billion in expenditures.” said Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership President Cate Magennis Wyatt. Within the 15 counties, tourism employs nearly 54,000 people with over $1.2 Billion in tourism-related employment income. And just as important, this industry contributes $373 million dollars in state and local government revenue to support important public services. “We are so grateful to the tourism professionals from across the country that have joined us to enhance our travel assets even further,” she said.
The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway is a 180-mile swath of land that runs from Gettysburg, PA to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA. The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area is known as the region “Where America Happened.” It’s said to contain more history than any other region in the nation and includes over 1 million acres on the National Register of Historic Places, 49 National Historic Districts, 9 Presidential homes, 13 National Parks, and sites from the Revolutionary War, French-Indian War, War of 1812 and the Civil War. The Living Legacy Project connects all of these places, and when complete, the byway will manifest a unified color palette that reminds visitors that they are, indeed, on hallowed ground.
”We’re truly honored to bring the travel and tourism industry together to give back to this very special region of America,” said Mike Rea, CEO of Tourism Cares. “This is a chance to do many things, as individuals, companies and as an industry: to band together with your peers; to plant trees that you, along with thousands of others, can visit over the years; and to experience a remarkable place for the first time or in a whole new way.”
Tourism Cares for the Journey Through Hallowed Ground marks the 17th Tourism Cares for America volunteer program, which since 2003 has mobilized more than 4,000 travel industry volunteers to give back to destinations across the country in need of care and attention.
“So much good is done with a project like today’s tree-planting along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground,” said Julie Heizer, Deputy Director, Industry Relations, National Travel and Tourism Office. “Not only does a travel and tourism-related entity like The Journey, and its community get much-needed attention, but the networking that takes place among the hundreds of industry professionals builds relationships across sectors. This synergy across the travel and tourism industry, with the local community and throughout the media builds awareness not only that the travel and tourism industry is important to the local community’s health and well-being, but is also paramount to the health of the nation’s economy.”
Tourism Cares would like to thank all involved in making this program possible, including the spring 2015 event sponsors, American Express, AAA Mid-Atlantic, AARP, American Bus Association, Amadeus, American Society of Travel Agents, AMES, Ancestry.com, Bartlett Tree Experts, Big Bus, Brand USA, Collette, Courier, Entertainment Cruises, Faith Travel Association, Greenleaf Nurseries, Hostelling International USA, Hosts Global Alliance, The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, MaCher, Marriott International, NTA, PhotoVision, Student Youth Travel Association, Entertainment Cruises, Trip Mate, U.S. Travel Association, United States Tour Operators Association, Vacation.com, Virginia Tourism Corporation and Visit Loudoun.
About Tourism Cares
Tourism Cares preserves and enhances the travel experience for future generations.
We channel the philanthropic passion and commitment of the travel industry to protect and restore valuable destinations we all care about—and to support those destinations as engines for prosperity, civil society, and pride in their communities. Our domestic programs focus on industry-wide volunteer events, capacity building for the nonprofit stewards of tourism sites, and scholarships and mentoring to support a talented workforce. Globally, our efforts include corporate social responsibility partnerships, strategic investments, and advocacy and education across the travel industry.
About the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership
The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area is a 180-mile long, 75-mile wide area stretching from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia that contains a vibrant natural, historical, and cultural landscape. With 400 years of European, American and African-American heritage, it’s known as the region Where America Happened™. It contains more history than any other region in the nation and includes: National and World Heritage sites, over 10,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, 49 National Historic districts, nine Presidential homes, 13 National Park units, hundreds of African American and Native American heritage sites, 30 Historic Main Street communities, sites from the Revolutionary War, French-Indian War, War of 1812 and the largest collection of Civil War sites in the nation.
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