DAR members beautify historic sites near downtown Phoenix


Piestewa Peak and Maricopa Chapters of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution members clean up Pioneer Park (Photos by Sandy Raynor)

For the third consecutive year, Piestewa Peak and Maricopa Chapters of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution members helped beautify downtown historic sites.

According to a press release, they cleaned grave sites at the historic Pioneer & Military Memorial Park and the Smurthwaite House grounds near downtown Phoenix. The group collected 24 bags of yard waste at 13th Avenue and West Jefferson Street on March 30.

The release said Piestewa Peak Chapter members from Scottsdale, and members of the Maricopa Chapter from central Phoenix, cleaned grave sites and spruced up the landscape of the two historic areas. The service project was the combined effort of the Historic Preservation and Conservation Committees of the DAR chapters.

Established in 1901, Maricopa Chapter is the oldest DAR chapter in Arizona, according to the release. Carolann Smurthwaite, who joined the Maricopa DAR Chapter in 1921, was one of the residents of the Smurthwaite house, built in 1897.

Piestewa Peak Chapter is the newest of Arizona’s 41 active DAR chapters and was chartered on October 8, 2016. The chapter is named after Piestewa Peak, the second highest point in the Phoenix Mountains, the release added.

The Peak was named for Specialist Lori Ann Piestewa, a U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps Soldier and member of the Hopi Tribe in northeastern Arizona, who was killed in Iraq on March 23, 2003, the release detailed, adding that Piestewa Peak Chapter lays a wreath at the park annually on Memorial Day.

This year, the wreath will be placed at the park on May 27, the release noted.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, founded in 1890, promotes historic preservation, education and patriotism. Members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War, the release stated.

DAR is said to be among the world’s largest and most active service organizations. With more than 185,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR members are committed to volunteer service having served more than 12.5 million hours in communities throughout the world during the past three years.

To learn more, visit: DAR.org.

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