North Dakota Forest Service


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Nowesta Memorial Tree Grove

The 12-acre Nowesta Memorial Grove is dedicated as a living memorial to the pioneers' early tree planting efforts. The tree claim was donated to the North Dakota Forest Service by Miss Elsie Elliot to keep this legacy alive for future generations.

The trees were planted in 1888 by William Gardiner as homestead requirements under the Timber Culture Act. The act awarded a settler, 160 acres if 10-acres of trees were planted and cultivated for eight years. Nearly 8,000 North Dakotans gained title to 1,200,000-acres of land from 1873 to 1891 under the program. The Nowesta Grove was purchased by Frank Elliott in 1919 and donated to the NDFS by Elsie Elliott in 1988.

The 12-acre roadside tract is located 8 miles east of St. Thomas on County Road 11. The towering cottonwood trees provide a peaceful setting to enjoy a hike on the trail, view birds and nature or a place to have a picnic lunch.

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