RADFORD – Some 15 representatives from local communities gathered on Earth Day, April 22, to plant trees purchased with money from a clean water and reforestation grant project underway at Glencoe Mansion and the Mary Draper Ingles Cultural Heritage Park in the City of Radford.
Nick Lancaster, Radford city horticulturist, told the group that the project represents much more than planting trees. “It also provides education and public outreach,” he said. “The undertaking is the result of a partnership between Glencoe and the city. Not only do these plantings improve aesthetics, but they also add to the tree canopy and reduce runoff and erosion.”
Johnny Vest, area forester for the Virginia Department of Forestry, which funded the grant, pointed out that projects like this one help the commonwealth toward its goal of improving urban watersheds. “We’re also pleased to contribute to making this a beautiful, picturesque setting,” he said.
The city was also represented by Mayor David Horton, who praised the project and shared his thoughts on how trees are time capsules that tell the story of a community. “This state grant helps us continue to make Radford the special place it is,” Horton said. “We’re bringing more public awareness to what trees can do for a community.”
Scott Gardner, Glencoe’s director, emceed the program and talked about how the museum continues to bring recognition to the city. Gardner said that the facility has been recognized on both the Virginia Landmark Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
“Our latest project, the Cultural Heritage Park, is home to a stunning statue of the colonial heroine Mary Draper Ingles and the award-winning New River Train Observatory,” Gardner said. The property, he added, has also been recognized as a Virginia Treasure by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The 15 plantings included black gum, crabapple, cherry, arborvitae, and flowering dogwoods, Virginia’s state tree.