Media & Public Relations

Contact: Tom Fox
Phone: 724.755.5260
June 1, 2010
Blue Star Marker to be Placed at New Stanton Service Plaza

It's the 12th Pennsylvania Turnpike facility to receive the designation

PITTSBURGH, PA (06/01/2010)(readMedia)-- The New Stanton Service Plaza along the Turnpike (I-76) at Milepost 77.8 in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County will be the 12th Pennsylvania Turnpike facility to receive a Blue Star Memorial Highway marker.

Angela McDonell, District VI Director of the Garden Club Federation of PA, will present the Blue Star Marker to Turnpike officials at a ceremony at the New Stanton Service Plaza on June 2 at noon.

The National Garden Clubs Inc. designation of Blue Star Memorial Highways is a tribute to men and women serving past, present and future in our armed forces and as a demonstration of roadside beautification dates back to 1944, when the New Jersey State Council of Garden Clubs planted 8,000 dogwood trees along U.S. Route 22.

The marker program, featuring the traditional blue-star symbol for heroism that was flown on house banners during World War II by families with sons or daughters in the military, became a national project in 1951.

Garden clubs wanted to create a "ribbon" of living memorial plantings traversing every state. The Blue Star designation was achieved through petitions to state legislatures in cooperation with motor transportation agencies. A uniform marker was designed to identify the highways. Markers continue to be dedicated each year on highways, veterans' facilities, national cemeteries, parks, and civic and historic sites, showing appreciation for those who defend our freedoms.

For more information on the Blue Star Memorial Highway Memorials, visit the website for the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania at

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission operates and maintains 545 miles of toll roads in the state. It oversees 62 fare-collection facilities, 17 operational service plazas (one is temporarily closed for renovations) and 26 maintenance facilities. With 2,169 employees, it generated $701.6 million in annual gross toll revenue from 188.2 million vehicles a year in calendar 2009. To learn more, visit