Wanted: Ideas on preserving a piece of history - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Wanted: Ideas on preserving a piece of history

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Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 10:26 am | Updated: 10:31 am, Thu Feb 28, 2013.

COEUR d’ALENE — While the Freedom Tree will be removed during construction of McEuen Park, its legacy will live on.

The tree, located in the large parking lot at the end of Fourth Street, is being removed to make way for a parking structure and pedestrian access into the park. The city said in a press release it plans to salvage about 30 feet of the tree’s base in an effort to preserve history. City officials are asking residents for their ideas on what to do with the wood.

The parks department is planning to make benches and possibility do some chainsaw artwork on 7 or 8 feet of the base. Also discussed is creating keepsake blocks from the tree that include an inscription of the planting date and the kind of tree, a Norway spruce. Another idea is to hold a ceremony prior to the removal as a way for people to gather and remember what the tree has stood for during the past 50 years.

“The Freedom Tree represents a very special piece of our history, one that symbolizes the incredible bravery and courage of our veterans,” said Parks Director Doug Eastwood. “We plan to do everything we can to ensure its legacy lives on for decades to come.”

The tree was planted in the early to mid-60s, primarily as a way to prevent Fourth Street from extending farther south and ultimately encroaching onto Tubbs Hill. It wasn’t until the Vietnam War that it became a symbol of freedom. In 1972, a plaque was placed at the base of the tree to honor local U.S. Air Force pilot Fred McMurray, who was shot down and held captive. McMurray was eventually released and returned home to Coeur d’Alene. The tree also paid tribute to all others who were missing in action during the war.

While the tree will be removed, the plaque and Veterans Memorial will be relocated to a more prominent area in the park. A new Norway spruce will be planted and named the ‘Freedom Tree’ in an area just west of the new Veteran’s Memorial. The new memorial will also include flags from each branch of the military and a medallion that identifies the branches as well as the year each branch originated. The American Flag will be front and center and a P.O.W. flag will flank the military flags.

To share your ideas on how to use the Freedom Tree wood to preserve history, visit the city’s Facebook page at CDAgov or email amyf@cdaid.org.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • bionic man posted at 2:46 pm on Sat, Mar 2, 2013.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    Mahiun......simple answer....the FAB 4 and money in their pockets. What do you expect from CDA ?????

  • Humanist posted at 11:08 am on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    Humanist Posts: 3004

    My understanding of a Norway spruce of that size is that their root system is so large laterally that they are next to impossible to transplant without killing them since the tree spade cuts off the majority of the roots. And if left in place, since the root system extends so far, any needed construction work around it would cut into the roots and most likely kill it.

  • Mahiun posted at 9:55 am on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    Mahiun Posts: 4847

    Why can the tree not be moved instead of REmoved?!

  • concernedcitizen posted at 7:54 am on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    OR the tree that belongs to the public could STAY right where it is and to H3!! with the plan to fleece taxpayers for personal gain.

  • Redtwin2 posted at 7:23 am on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    Redtwin2 Posts: 35

    A section of the tree could be sliced and made into table tops and then sell them to raise money, use them in the library, or even in the Resort. I think such an item would be a great piece for the Mr. McMurray, also.

  • Humanist posted at 7:10 am on Fri, Mar 1, 2013.

    Humanist Posts: 3004

    There's a link to it in my post below.

  • KeepinItReal posted at 10:42 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    KeepinItReal Posts: 112

    Its the big tree on the north side of the 3rd St parking lot, along Front St, by the parking toll booth.

  • idaholiberal posted at 9:45 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    idaholiberal Posts: 179

    I would love to see a photo of this tree and its exact location. I have asked around and it seems like no one has heard of it or knows where it is...

  • boohoo2U posted at 9:44 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    boohoo2U Posts: 406

    secure the fab4 to the tree moments before it is uprooted?
    Why wait until November for regime change? Will change really matter at all?
    The wealthy will get their way even if they pay to compromise Gookin.

  • skunkworks posted at 8:23 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    skunkworks Posts: 252

    Even the "Freedom Tree" is not "Free" under the Reign of the Fab 4...I hope when its "Relocated" every Precaution is taken to Assure its Survival and the Tree is able to Flourish in its new "Location".

  • KeepinItReal posted at 6:56 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    KeepinItReal Posts: 112

    Preserve a piece of history by leaving the tree; and preserve a piece of the future by voting out the mayor and her council for not fighting for the tree.

  • jcp6067 posted at 5:45 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    jcp6067 Posts: 22

    ..."it sure looks like they have taken into a consideration an equal or better replacement."

    Yep.....just like the boat launch...

  • bionic man posted at 4:59 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    I'll try this again as my last post was deleted. The truth won't be told. I'm going to post something on you tube and then post the link for all CDA to see. We'll see what happens when things are brought public.

  • boohoo2U posted at 2:36 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    boohoo2U Posts: 406

    for it to die!

  • Humanist posted at 2:03 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    Humanist Posts: 3004

    For those wondering why simply leaving the tree where it is is not an option, take a look at the tree as it is now(ish): https://maps.google.com/?ll=47.672567,-116.781229&spn=0.002,0.00169&t=h&z=19

    Then, take a look at the park plan. http://www.cdaidparks.org/index.php/parks/mceuen-field

    There are some major construction conflicts with the tree's location and the underground parking structure. On that page, if you go to the interactive map, click on the proposed amenities button, then click on the Freedom Tree, it sure looks like they have taken into a consideration an equal or better replacement.

  • imisscda posted at 12:51 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    imisscda Posts: 72

    What the *****??? Remove the tree? What part of that plan makes us worthy of our Tree City USA title?

  • concernedcitizen posted at 12:34 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530


    So they can slap our veterans in the face as they do the taxpayer. :(

  • Keven Johnson posted at 11:44 am on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1276

    Why not just leave the tree standing if it is such an important part of Coeur d' alene's history? Too simple and obvious a solution?

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