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On June 28, 2017, DAR announced a $380,000 donation to the National Park Service to underwrite the planting and ongoing care of 76 trees at Independence National Historical Park in honor of the Spirit of '76 that inspired the colonists to declare their independence. This is the first major gift in honor of the United States Semiquincentennial in 2026.

On November 7, 2017, the National Park Service hosted a ceremonial tree planting at Independence National Historical Park behind Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The ceremony included remarks by representatives from the Daughters of the American Revolution, Independence National Historical Park, the City of Philadelphia, USA250 and even Thomas Jefferson as they broke ground to plant the first of the 76 trees.

View photos from the tree planting ceremony

The 76 trees planted will include a variety of species, all historically accurate to 18th century Philadelphia. While the first of the trees will be planted in the park directly behind Independence Hall, others will be scattered throughout the 55 acres of the park, planted over the course of several years, anticipating a mature canopy in time for the nation’s Semiquincentennial celebrations in 2026.  The new trees will significantly enhance the overall character that has defined and will continue to define the park for decades.

This gift follows a long list of DAR contributions over generations to strengthen Independence Hall and its surroundings. Following America’s Centennial, the Philadelphia DAR Chapter received permission in 1896 to restore the Banquet Room to its 1776 appearance using Andrew Hamilton’s original plans. Then in 1972, DAR funded, at a cost of $200,000, the complete furnishing of both the Governor’s Council Chamber and the Committee of the Assembly Chamber. DAR also provided funding for the nearby Rose Garden, and a decade later, DAR presented the painting, The Signing of the Constitution, a gift commissioned to commemorate the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution in 1987.

DAR is proud to present this first Gift to the Nation in honor of the United States Semiquincentennial and cannot wait to see these 76 tress thrive!

Media Coverage:

Philly gets money from DAR for semiquincentennial trees – Philadelphia Inquirer – June 27, 2017

First major, patriotic gift: DAR donates 76 trees to Independence Mall – USA250 – June 28, 2017

76 trees to be planted in Independence Park – WHYY (NPR affiliate) – November 8, 2017