Historic Birch Lodge

Historic Birch Lodge
Historic Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Penny Pine Project

Print Friendly and PDF

Driving west along M-28 toward Engadine, we noticed a bronze plaque on a boulder on the south side of the road.  We stopped to read it "Michigan D.A.R. Forest August 1931".

 I took some pictures, and wondered about a bunch of silver haired D.A.R. ladies planting pines in 1931.  What was this about?  Eventually, I did a google searches and learned something.

The U.S. Forest Service, with the help of the C.C.C. began a program to reforest America.  In addition to putting millions of people to work, the program sought to replenish the country's forests devastated from over harvesting and wildfire. 

The trees were grown in U.S. Forest Service nurseries.  In addition to supplying the C.C.C., these seedlings were also sold to individuals, and donations were sought to help sponsor the cost of the program.  The cost of the seedlings was one penny, hence the name Penny Pine.

Margaret March-Mount
Forest Service Photo
A Forest Service employee, Margaret March-Mount, working from the Munising district, came up with the idea of promoting replanting and forest fire prevention through the development of a Children's Conservation Crusade, encouraging children to donate pennies for the replanting effort.
She was also instrumental in organizing sponsorship programs through various clubs and organizations. ( For more information on Ms. March-Mount please read  the Forest Service History Page.)

In celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the D.A.R., Mrs Henry Robert, President of the National D.A.R. chose to participate in the Penny Pines Project.  Her goal was to establish a D.A.R. memorial forest planting in every state.  Each planting was to be a minimum of one acre planted to 500 pines at a cost of $5.00.  The C.C.C. did the actual planting and maintenance.

The large boulder along M-28 marks the D.A.R.s contribution to the replanting of 160 acres in Michigan in 1931.  A sizable planting at the time. 

The Penny Pines Program continues today, although I have not found active Michigan plantings.
Donations are sought by members of the National Garden Club and the U.S. Forest Service.  The cost of sponsorship is the minimum now required to plant one acre, currently $68.00  For more information, here is the link:  http://www.gardenclub.org/projects/ongoing-projects/penny-pines.aspx

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I live in Cedarville, so where do I find the DAR penny pine plaque, I belong to DAR chapter here and would like to see it, PS no grey hair, members range from young to old lol! But thanks for posting because someone had asked if we knew where it was! yeah we do! Plan on making a reforest donation . You can also message me on face book Tammy Cruickshank