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Local woman adds new life to piece of history

A road lined with trees is normally something you wouldn`t think twice about it.

However, if you pay close attention, you`ll notice some of the trees lining the Susquehanna Trail are very strategically placed.

"They were planted in the early 1920's by a group called the War Mothers Club. And they are equidistant, some of them on both sides of the Susquehanna Trail," said Shelly Riedel, with the Rotary Club of York.

400 sycamore trees were planted nearly 100 years ago as a living memorial for those who served in World War I.

"York county lost about 200 veterans in that war, and they wanted to do something to remember them," said Riedel.

Fast forward nearly a century, and only about half of those trees still remain.

Now, a community effort spearheaded by several local rotary clubs is about to spruce things up.

"The people in the community are coming forward and saying this is what we want to do. This is going to be a privately funded project, just like it was 100 years ago," said Reo. Kristin Phillips-Hill.

By Veterans Day 2019, there will be 200 new trees lining the Susquehanna Trail to replace the ones that haven`t survived.

"Not only will they be a century old, but the new ones coming in will have a century to come along," said Riedel.

The project is in its early stages, and volunteers are currently branching out, asking property owners for permission to plant on their land, and asking the public to help fund the effort.

Reidel can`t wait to see the finished product.

"Looking back, whoever did this, I don`t know who the members were of the War Mothers Club. But I hope they are looking down and saying, `Wow, somebody cares enough and they are planting these to honor all our veterans,'" said Riedel.

Young or old, each tree will be alive with a story, as is the memory of those who fought for our country.

If you'd like to get involved and help preserve the history, contact your local rotary club.

Also, Riedel tells us there is little known information about the War Mothers Club. If you know anything about the club, she urges you to reach out.