The Gift of History in a Tree
July 25, 2021
The Tawes Garden has received a special gift: A young tulip poplar descended from the Annapolis Liberty Tree. The original tree stood on the grounds of nearby St. John's College and spread its canopy over meetings of the Maryland branch of the Sons of Liberty, whose protests over British colonial policies were of major significance in the lead-up to the American Revolution. The longest surviving of the Liberty Trees scattered throughout the 13 Colonies, it was finally destroyed by a hurricane in 1999, at an estimated age of approximately 400 years. Prior to its loss, however, propagative material was collected and from it stems the young tulip poplar newly planted in the Tawes Garden.
The tree was donated in memory of Linda Wiley, a longtime employee of the MD Department of Natural Resources who passed away earlier this year. The Friends of Tawes Garden hosted a memorial reception and tree planting at the Garden on July 16, 2021 for members of her family, who participated in the planting, colleagues, and friends. During the remarks preceding the planting ceremony, Ms. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Secretary of the MD Department of Natural Resources, presented several commendations of Ms. Wiley's service, including one signed by Gov. Hogan. Friends and former colleagues offered tributes to her warmth and lively personality, and to her wide-ranging interests--which included the Helen Avalynne Tawes Garden. A user and admirer of the Garden during her years at DNR, she had expressed the hope that it would be supported and preserved into the future.
This young tulip poplar thus represents both a memorial to Linda Wiley, a true friend of the Tawes Garden, and a link to Annapolis history. May it survive as long as its illustrious forebear.
The Friends of Tawes Garden wish to thank the Allegany Co. Forestry Board for donation of the tree; Mr. Gene Deems, e-Gov & Digital Services Manager, DNR; Mr. Ross Kimmel, Retired Historian, MD Park Service; and Mr. Francis "Champ" Zumbrun, Retired Forest Manager, DNR for their contributions to the event; and Mr. Steve McCoy, who kindly provided the music for the reception.