While campaigning in the summer months, Candidate Bush Spoke to a crowd of 20,000 in Riverfront Park on August 22nd, 1988. Fast forward to when he became president, he made another visit to Spokane with then-Democratic Speaker of The House Tom Foley "Here in the Northwest you have a special appreciation for the beauty of this planet, and we owe it to future generations to protect it for them," said Then-presidential candidate George H.W. Bush.
President Bush brought an elm tree with him on Air Force One. The elm tree had been propagated from an American elm which was planted on the White House lawn in 1826 by President John Quincy Adams. In a sign of bipartisanship, he and Foley planted it together in Riverfront Park. To keep it from being damaged further city officials ultimately moved it to finch arboretum.
The tree didn't last, and in his autobiography, Heartbeat Bush explains why with his trademark brand of dry humor " I planted a tree in Spokane, Washington, and I hadn't even left town before some vandals ripped off the whole tree," described President Bush.
Now a new tree dedicated to the president is in its place with messages all over it. Thanking the president for his service. The tree was planted by the Susie Forest organization.