ARKANSAS — St. Francis National Forest employees recently partnered with the Daughters of the American Revolution to restore a historic marker at a Penny Pines Plantation. Today many Forest Service employees are unaware of the Penny Pine program, which Margret March-Mount, a Region 9 employee, launched in the 1930s as a simple fundraising idea. Miss March-Mount worked with women's clubs and school children to encourage fire prevention and tree planting in Uncle Sam's forests. Her Pennies for Pines Children's Conservation Crusade encouraged children to give pennies for planting pine trees on national forests. Through this popular and patriotic program, the Forest Service planted 1,000 seedlings for every $4 received.
In 1939, the DAR chose the Penny Pine program as one of their Golden Jubilee National Projects. Each state was to have a memorial forest, beginning in 1939 and culminating in 1941 on the DAR 50th Anniversary. Each chapter across the country was to pledge, at the very least, one acre of pine seedlings. Pledging $5 an acre when seedlings cost a penny each yielded 5,000 trees. The Civilian Conservation Corp, under the supervision of the Forest Service, did the actual work of planting and care. In Arkansas, DAR members dedicated 25 acres and a bronze marker in the White Rock area of the Ozark National Forest in 1939. This site was one of thousands of Penny Pine Plantations across the country.
Only two such markers are known to have been erected in stone with brass plaques and carving, both on the Ozark National Forest. While a source of pride for the local community, the Ozark National Forest and the local chapter of the DAR, the brass plaque was stolen many years ago. A partnership between the DAR and the Forest Service recently resulted in replacement of the plaque and rededication of the project originally dedicated 78 years ago.