BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 26, 2009 – A group of students from Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources, along with forestry professor and Extension leader Jeff Kirwan traveled to Washington D.C., on Monday to show 1,000 school children how to plant 44 trees at the Anacostia National Park in honor of 44th President Barack Obama and Martin Luther King Jr.
Sara Murrill, a Mechanicsville, Va., native who graduated from the college with a bachelor of science in natural resources conservation and is now working on her master’s degree in forestry, assisted with the planting preparation along with numerous other natural resources students, including Casey Overturf,of Pembroke, Va., the principal organizer of the participation for the college’s Natural Resources Recreation Society; club president Jeff Curtis of Richmond, Va.; and Julia Baugh of Annapolis, Md., another club officer and whose father Don Baugh was one of the coordinators of the entire event. Baugh is also vice president of education for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Kirwan, author of the Remarkable Trees of Virginia book that has received popular acclaim since its fall release, said, “We planted a variety of trees for the Inaugural Grove, including redbug, river birch, and serviceberry.”
“Planting a grove in Obama’s honor was an historical memory for us,” Murrill noted. “It was neat to be a part of his inaugural activities, to visit all the environmental education exhibits set up for the kids, and to see some of the House of Representatives involved in the Anacostia improvement program.”
The No Child Let Inside Coalition initiated the Inaugural Grove project. House of Representatives Majority Leader Steny Hoyer from Southern Maryland and District of Columbia Represenative Eleanor Holmes Norton participated in the event.