Volume 24 Issue 2, Spring 2019
In celebration of Morven Park’s 50th anniversary of opening to the public, park staff launched an innovative AnniversaTree campaign aimed at replenishing and supplementing the beautiful native trees that are essential elements of Morven Park’s picturesque landscape.
Throughout the rolling hills of Morven Park, hundreds of trees and plantings are lost each year due to weather, infestations, and disease. During 2018 alone, Morven Park staff oversaw the removal of over 250 damaged trees, 100 of which were decimated by the region’s infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer. Donations to the AnniversaTree campaign at www.MorvenPark.org/Trees directly support Morven Park’s tree planting and grounds restoration efforts. Gifts can be made in honor of, or in tribute to, a friend or loved one. Businesses can also donate to show their support. Donors at the highest levels can elect to have a commemorative plaque placed at the base of their tree.
Morven Park is fortunate to have the professional expertise of Nina Fout — a Morven Park trustee, Olympic equestrian medalist, and landscape designer specializing in native plantings — to facilitate the tree selection and the planting process. Great care is being taken to select the types of trees most appropriate for the local climate and that will flourish at the various planting locations. Many are being installed along Southern Planter Lane, reminiscent of the tree-lined drive that once shaded horse-drawn carriages heading to the Davis Mansion. Others are being planted near the new arenas at the Morven Park International Equestrian Center to provide shade to participants and spectators.
Thanks to the generosity of a number of amazing donors, an assortment of native trees, including Nuttall Oak, Black Tupelo, and American Sweetgum, have already been planted.
“We’ve been fortunate to have the support of so many individuals for our AnniversaTree program, but we still have a long way to go to replace all the lost trees,” said Morven Park Executive Director Sheryl Williams.
“We’re very aware that a major contributor to the beauty of Morven Park is our trees. Think of a recent trip to the park and imagine how different the landscape would look without them,” Williams said. “By replenishing the trees, we’re enhancing the park’s natural beauty, helping to alleviate erosion, and providing food and shelter for the hundreds of species of wildlife that call Morven Park home.”
Morven Park’s ecosystem and green space are vitally important in increasingly populated Northern Virginia. The nonprofit organization, which operates without government funding, looks forward to maintaining this treasured oasis for all to enjoy for generations to come.