Elm Tree Rooted in Seaside Park

Return to Table of Contents

Scouts Help Celebrate 'Liberty'

By Patrick Cronin

Hampton Union, Tuesday, September 23, 2008

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online]

Bicentennial Park has a new addition, a 12-foot Liberty elm tree. Hampton Boy Scouts from Troop 177 unveiled the tree at the North Beach park during a ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 18.
[Courtesy Photos]

HAMPTON -- "I think this is going to be a beautiful addition," said Linda Gephart, of the Friends of Bicentennial Park, which has been working with others to beautify the town-owned park.

Gephart said the tree was donated to the town by the Liberty Elm Research Institute of Keene. The total package, valued at $2,500, included a special bronze plaque with an inscription that recounts the history of Boston's Liberty Tree. The tree was once the rallying place for the Sons of Liberty during the American Revolution.

Gephart said the nonprofit organization wanted to offer the Hampton group the tree, that was made available through an anonymous donation, after hearing about all the work members have done to beautify the park.

The only stipulation was that the local Boy Scouts be a part of the dedication since it was the Boy Scouts of America who joined the institute in 1984 in its effort to restore the American Elm from extinction.

Gephart said she was contacted through town's Park and Recreation Department, which oversees the park, and the town was in favor of accepting the gift.

Boy Scout Troop 177 Senior Patrol Leader Dan Argue said a lot of work went into planting the tree. He thanked the Friends of Bicentennial Park, Chet and Diane Riley for donating the stone and Roger Syphers for the work needed to place the plaque on the stone.

"Renny" Cushing, who, as a state representative sponsored a resolution He also gave a special thanks to former Troop 177 member Robert to have elm trees planted along Route 1.

"Let's hope this Liberty elm will inspire our town to bring Liberty elms on this historic road and elsewhere in our town," Argue said.

Argue said the Scouts were honored to be included in the planting of a type of tree that once was a prominent sight in town. "2008 is the 75 anniversary of the establishment of Troop 177 in Hampton," Argue said. "We believe the Liberty elm is fitting memorial for all the troop has contributed to the community and a reminder for future Scouts to continue that tradition."

Gephart and her husband were named stewards of the tree. Linda said the elm should fit in nicely at the seaside park.

Elizabeth Webb, of the town's Shade Tree Committee, agreed. "I'm very glad they were able to get (it), they were able to plant it and the town took it," Webb said. "People are going to enjoy it."

The Elm Research Institute was established in 1967 with the purpose of saving the American elm from extinction. The institute sponsored genetic research that resulted in the American Liberty elm, a purebred descendant of disease-resistant American elms.

It is the only elm with a lifetime warranty against Dutch elm disease which killed almost all of the elm trees around, including ones that once stood tall in Hampton.

The institute has been establishing memorials in communities across the country to commemorate the birth of freedom and help restore the tree.

Return to Table of Contents