2015 Year In Review
2015 Wreaths Across the Grove – View photos here
December 12, 2015
Thank you to the 80+ volunteers who attended our event today. Thanks to your financial support and presence today, all the states have wreaths on them.
Special thanks to PECO Energy and the Hogs & Heroes Foundation for their sponsorships. A special thanks to the Freedoms Foundation and Michele for putting the bows on each wreath. The AOH sponsored several states in memory of John Lappe- a faithful AOH member & MoH Grove volunteer. The Clan Irwin Association sponsored several as well – it was their first visit to the Grove.
Everyone gathered at 1100a for a short ceremony then headed out to the acres with wreath and stands in hand. Afterward the crowd was invited to a lite luncheon provided by Valley Forge Catering. It was a great day! The board of the Friends of the Grove are very grateful.
2015 Cleanups – View photos here
2015 Spring Cleanup
Armed Forces Day
May 16, 2015
Thank you to the 50+ volunteers from various service organizations, AOH, MOAA, DAV, Veterans, Latin American Post, Ladies Auxiliary, Phoenixville HS & Lionville Middle School Students, Devon 50 Scouts and community members for helping to ready the Grove for the summer months. (Let us know if we missed anyone) Special thank you to the Downingtown VFW 845 Ladies Auxiliary, members of the Lionville Middle School Patriot Club and the Stiles family for donating and planting flowers along the Patriot Path, George Washington Statue and adding more flowers to the Knox Building flower beds. The Friends of the Grove joined Senator Andy Dinniman in Honoring MoH Recipient Cpl. Michael Crescenz and presenting a citation to Joe Crescenz, Michael’s brother. The Philadelphia VA was renamed for Cpl. Crescenz in early May.
2015 Fall Cleanup
Thank you to all who came out on Sat, Oct 17th for our Fall Cleanup and lunch. We set a record since 2011 with over 85 volunteers! It was great to see so many new faces. The Grove is in perfect condition for the winter. We’ll be in touch in before Spring about our Adopt an Acre Program and our Spring Cleanup Day. At lunch Recipient General James Livingston stopped by to thank the volunteers. Listen to what he says about the Medal of Honor legacy.
2015 Grove Updates
Roadway Project – View photos here
June 6, 2015
This year the Friends of the Grove continued their efforts with repaving the roadway from the entrance of the Grove, the Knox Building parking lot, the roadway by the stage past the Alabama, Florida, Puerto Rico and Georgia acres, then down the back road beyond Arkansas. In addition, the roadway going down the valley past Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee then up the hill to the adjoining road. This will be appreciated by the drivers who volunteer to pick up the piles of debris with their trucks. The Freedoms Foundation is grateful to the Friends of the Grove for their work over the past 4 years and the continued commitment of all its volunteers.
2015 Missouri Area
Thank you to the Missouri American Legion which has taken the lead and, with other veterans organizations in that state, have been sending funds to the Friends for a few years. The Friends arranged for the work to be done with their funds. The obelisk was cleaned and the brick plaza was replaced. The American Legion came across paper work about their acre in the Grove. They had no idea there was an acre so they contacted the Friends wanting to improve their acre. We know many states do not know they are represented here, please help us get that word out.
April 26, 2015
The Friends of the Grove hosted a get together with Joe Rodriguez, nephew of MoH Recipient Miguel Vera and Latin American Post 840 from Philadelphia. Miguel Vera, Puerto Rico, received the medal posthumously in March 2014.
The members of Post 840 have been stewards of the Puerto Rico acre for years for which the Friends of the Grove and the Freedoms Foundation are very grateful.
March 25, 2015
The Friends of the Grove honored our recipients on National Medal of Honor Day- View photos here
November 29, 2015
Special thanks to the Hogs and Heroes Foundation for adopting 3 acres, accepting special projects and their donation of $1,000 toward the maintenance of the Grove. The Hogs and Heroes Foundation is a community of motorcycle riders that support Public Safety, U.S. Military and Wounded Warriors charities. Friends Chair Bill Fields accepts the check from National Sgt at Arms Joe “Joker” Babylon. Members of Hogs and Heroes Foundation in attendance: Pennsylvania State Officers, Pennsylvania Chapter 1, and Pennsylvania Chapter 3 and junior members as well as the Friends of the Grove Executive Board.
August 27, 2015 The Friends of the Grove thank Bernadette Heenan for her generous donation for the purchase of a golf cart. It was delivered on Thursday and will provide many tours to those unable to walk the Grove. We are very appreciative to Bernadette!
February 3, 2015 Thank you to Downingtown Post 845 for their donation of $5,000 to the Friends of the Grove. This Post has been very generous over the past few years and we are very grateful. Post Commander Paul Dougherty presented the check to Friends Vice Chair Greg Cary.
2015 Adopt An Acre
Problem: Weeds had overtaken almost all 53 acres around and the ground plaques had high grass growing around them. The brick pads in each state’s acre, along with the state’s obelisk, needed some TLC. Our contracted landscaper couldn’t keep up with it due to the amount of rain we received.
Solution: So the Friends began a pilot program in the summer of 2015 in an attempt to receive help with the individual states. 15 state acres were adopted and an additional 6 states’ brick pads were weeded. We are very grateful for their help.
Because of the success of this pilot program, we will continue it in 2016.
We are asking for volunteers – families, civic groups, community groups and/or people who love gardening – to adopt one acre and help maintain it from our Spring Cleanup (May) until our Fall Cleanup (Oct) when we prepare the Grove for it’s winter’s rest. There are 53 acres – one for each state as well as Puerto Rico, District of Columbia and the AOH acre.
First, contact the Friends to request an acre – choose your favorite state! (if it’s already taken, we can assign one to you). Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Work needed should you choose to adopt an acre:
- Weed your acre’s pad (we ask that you bring your own weed killer to use if possible). The weeds between the bricks should be killed and removed.
- If needed, wash the obelisk (NO POWER WASHING- also, there is no water in the Grove so you’ll have to be resourceful.) There is a water source on campus – just ask us.
- Wash the ground plaques.
- Wash the cement walkway (Some have a great deal of moss growing)
- Use a weed whacker to cut the grass around your state’s ground plaques. (there is no electric in the Grove so a gas weed whacker would be required but this is not a deal breaker if you don’t have one).
- Report to the Friends your schedule, progress and what brand of weed killer you use.
- Send photos to us to be posted on Facebook and this website. Only your 1st name will be used unless you request otherwise.
All debris should be piled in the grass along the road and will be removed, which is why we need to know your schedule.
If you cannot physically adopt an acre to weed, you can contribute to the cost of weed killer for those who can’t afford the expense but have the time to weed.
Special thanks to the AOH, Gerdes Family, Lehning Family, Jim, John, Latin American Post and Unit 840, Nick, Pam, Kacergis & Ellis Families and Boy Scout Troop 119 from Evansburg, Pa.
15 state acres were adopted and and additional 6 states’ brick pads were weeded.