State officials accept seedling descendant of Liberty...

ARUNDEL DIGEST

May 09, 2002

State officials accept seedling descendant of Liberty Tree

A 2-foot-tall tulip poplar seedling propagated from the Liberty Tree, which once sheltered Colonial revolutionaries in Annapolis, was presented to state officials yesterday, starting a plan to give Liberty Tree offspring to each of the original 13 states and Washington.

The seedling, accepted by Natural Resources Secretary J. Charles Fox at the State House, was one of 14 that the nonprofit American Forests was able to propagate from about 10,000 seeds it received from landscaper Mark Mehnert, who salvaged Liberty Tree wood from two recycling centers.

About $86,000 from the sale of commemorative guitars made by Taylor Guitars will help nurture seedlings that are descendants of the Liberty Tree. It will also help with a five-year plan, with American Forests and the National Fund for the U.S. Botanic Garden, to plant liberty trees in communities around the country.

The seedling was whisked away after yesterday's ceremony to return to American Forests' Florida nursery to grow. Meanwhile, the State House Trust will decide where to plant it.

The 400-year-old Liberty Tree, on the Annapolis campus of St. John's College, was felled after Hurricane Floyd damaged it beyond help in 1999. Four other descendants of that tree are known to exist, including one planted in the 1880s on the St. John's campus.

SPCA chapter leaders defeat slate of challengers

The leadership of the Anne Arundel chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals prevailed yesterday in the organization's board elections, with its slate of candidates defeating a group of challengers 1,009 to 437 to win eight seats on the 15-member board.

Dissatisfied with the chapter's board, some members put together a "reform" slate of candidates to challenge those put forward by the board's nominating commission. The vote capped a year of controversy on the board, which governs the SPCA chapter and its Annapolis animal shelter.

"I just hope that we can move forward from here," board President Fred Graul said after yesterday's vote.

The winners of yesterday's election are Carol Ashford, Paul Blumenthal, Lou Sullivan Carter, Lee Donovan, Mark Moran, Scott Silber, Maryanne Spencer and Betsy Wells.

Ceremony to mark start of Odenton Road project

Ground is scheduled to be broken today on the resurfacing of Odenton Road, a project that is to begin a series of improvements to the area, county officials said.

Plans call for improvements to area sidewalks and the construction of a link between Odenton and the Washington-Baltimore-Annapolis Hiker-Biker Trail. The event is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in front of Odenton Elementary School, at 1290 Odenton Road.

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