In 1936, Olympic gold medalists received, in addition to their gold medal and laurel wreath, a seedling oak a “gift of the German people.” Owens received four seedling oaks. He planted one at his mother’s house in Cleveland, one at Ohio State University¹s All American Row and one at Rhodes High School in Cleveland where he practiced track. The fourth tree died before Owens could plant it.
Park board members knew of the fourth seedling oak that was never planted. With permission from the Owens family, the park procured an oak tree that was planted as a symbol of Owens¹ lost Olympic Gold Medal Tree. The Owens family planted the tree at the park on May 16, 1998.
The plaque is inscribed: “May the tree grow to the honor of Jesse Owens’ victories and achievements.”