As a highlight of exciting preparations for the upcoming 250th anniversary of the United States of America, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is partnering with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to create the “DAR Pathway of the Patriots” along the Schuylkill River Trail, a scenic multi-use trail in Southeastern Pennsylvania that connects Bartram’s Garden, the nation’s oldest botanical garden in Philadelphia, with Valley Forge National Historical Park.
As an extension of the 76 trees planted at Independence National Historical Park in 2017, this project affords the privilege of planting 250 trees along the trail and adopting them in memory of Revolutionary War Patriots. These 250 Patriots are featured on this website in order to raise awareness of those who achieved American Independence.
The Pathway is placed along the Schuylkill River Trail. The trail begins at Bartram’s Garden, the oldest surviving botanical garden in North America. More than 45 acres in size, it includes an arboretum that was established c. 1728. The garden is a National Historic Landmark, outdoor classroom, living laboratory and conservancy group with 40,000 members.
The trail continues to Valley Forge, where Washington’s army marched, tired, cold and ill-equipped in December 1777. Six months later, the ordered ranks, martial appearance, revived spirit and fighting skill of the American soldiers proved a transformation occurred amidst the cold, sickness and hardship at Valley Forge. The park commemorates the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation and honors the ability of our citizens to pull together to overcome adversity.
The 25-mile Schuylkill River Trail welcomes more than 2.7 million runners, bikers and commuters each year and was named the number one urban trail in the country in the USA TODAY Readers’ Choice Awards.
In all, 250 trees will be planted in 13 groves, on the 25-mile trail, with each tree honoring the memory of a Patriot of the American Revolution.
The trees are being planted so that they can mature by 2026 for the Nation’s 250th. The first trees were planted on November 15, 2018, at Bartram’s Garden, the nation’s oldest botanical garden which was established just outside Philadelphia in 1728. Franklinia alatamaha, a small flowering tree named for Benjamin Franklin, was selected as the first tree to be planted.