Camden County Partners with Plimoth Plantation, Donating Live Oaks to Historic Mayflower II Restoration Project

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Camden County is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Plimoth Plantation, a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit museum, to repurpose a selection of live oak trees located along the Kingsland Bypass Project. With construction of the first phase underway, there are approximately eight live oak trees, estimated to be at least 150 years old, which must come down.

“There are some beautiful, historic trees located along the Kingsland Bypass route,” said Camden County Administrator Steve Howard. “We were pleased to recently learn about a massive effort underway to restore and relaunch the Mayflower II by Plimoth Plantation. It’s an incredible opportunity for our historic oaks to live on and restore this ship.”

The live oaks would be repurposed for the Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower tall ship. The Mayflower II was built from 1955-57 in England. The square-rigged vessel that is about 25 feet wide and 106 feet long serves as an interactive maritime museum of the 1620 Mayflower voyage.  Until 2019, the ship will be at Mystic Seaport receiving a full restoration ahead of Plymouth's 400th commemoration of the Pilgrims' arrival on New England's shores.

Camden County citizen Gwendolyn Edenfield, who serves as Regent for the Earl of Camden Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, first approached county officials with the idea. “It is gratifying to be able to help in having some of the beautiful Colerain Road live oaks be used on the Mayflower II at Mystic Harbor, Connecticut,” said Edenfield.

“The federal dollars tied to the urban road design of this important highway project for Camden County require us to clear the trees, and the new bypass will provide Camden County citizens a great benefit,” said Scott Brazell, project coordinator for phase one of the Kingsland Bypass. “I’m very happy with the partnership we’ve worked out with Plimoth Plantation.”

Whit Perry, director of Maritime Preservation and Operations at Plimoth Plantation, will be on hand during the clearing of the trees this week to work directly with Norton Irrigation, the clearing and grubbing contractor, to harvest the trees in a manner that is used specifically to refurbish tall ships such as the Mayflower II.