Forest of Friendship

The International Forest of Friendship was a gift to America on her 200th birthday (1976) from the City of Atchison, Kansas and The Ninety-Nines. Atchison is the birthplace of Amelia Earhart, first president of the Ninety-Nines, and is now owned by the Ninety-Nines and has been dedicated and opened to the public as a museum.

The Forest overlooking Lake Warnock, on the outskirts of Atchison, is made up with trees from all fifty states and thirty-five countries  where Honorees reside. Each tree has its own flag, and on special occasions, the Forest is ablaze with the brilliance of colours of more than 100 flags blowing in the breeze.

There are trees from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, the Bicentennial American Spruce, a tree from Amelia’s grandfather’s farm, a redbud from President Eisenhower’s farm, and the Moon Tree grown from a seed taken to the moon by Command Pilot Stuart Roosa on Apollo 14. This latter tree honours the ten astronauts who gave their lives in America’s pioneering of space exploration. Their names are enshrined around the tree and the names of the living astronauts are put in a protective outer circle.

Winding through the Forest is Memory Lane, honouring those who have or still are contributing to all facets of aviation and aerospace. It is a five foot wide (wheel chair friendly) walk and has embedded in the concrete walk, granite plaques engraved with the names of over 700 Honorees. Included in this illustrious list are markers memorializing, such aviation notables as Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Jeana Yeager, Rajiv Gandhi, the Wright Brothers, Sally Ride, Chuck Yeager, Capt. Marc Garneau, Beryl Markham, General “Jimmy” Doolittle, President George Bush, General Colin Powell, and Lt Col Eileen M. Collins, the first woman to pilot a shuttle (Discovery) into space. In 1976, Secretary of the Interior, Kleppe, dedicated Memory Lane as the first National Recreation Trail in Kansas.

From its inception, the International Forest of Friendship was founded and lead by Fay Gillis Wells and Joe Carrigan. Fay Wells is one of the Charter members of the Ninety-Nines and has been honoured for her great interest and support of aviation and as an outstanding journalist. In 1991, a beautiful gazebo was dedicated to Fay Wells, in honour of her leadership to the Forest, and paid for by her many friends throughout the World.

It is a wonderful and peaceful respite from the many businesses and pressures of every day living. It is a place of reflection and rededication. It is a place of communication to and from God. It is the INTERNATIONAL FOREST OF FRIENDSHIP


Joy Parker Blackwood is inducted..

Joy arrives in Atkinson in style

Joy and friends at Amelia Earhart airport

Forest of Friendship

Dorothy flies with Amelia

Amelia, Joy and friends

Joy’s turn to be inducted

A proud Billy Ray with Joy

Tribute to the Columbia crew


Felicity with Faye Wells Gillis

Felicity accepts Vi Milstead’s induction certificate

Kevin Psutka, Felicity and Vicky – for Margaret Carson’s induction

Suzanne Pettigrew with Amelia and friends

Suzanne Pettigrew with Faye, at Dave / Julie’s induction

Felicity with Vi Milstead
Shirley Allen2012: Shirley Allen

2009:  Dorothy Berthelet2003:  Joy Parker Blackwood2001:  Margaret Carson and Vi Milstead2000:  Julie Payette and Dave Williams1999:  Dorothy Rungeling1998: Dee Brasseur

1996: Adele Fogel, Margo McCutcheon, Daphne Schiff


1993: Felicity McKendry1990: Hilda (Devereau)  Mickle1989: Marion Orr1988: Rosella Bjornson1987: Barbara Brotherton, Grant McConachie & John Schemerhorn1986: Russell Beach

1985: Dr. Roberta Bondar, Captain Marc Garneau  & Betty Jane Schemerhorn

1979: Edith Denney





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