In 1996, the USGS merged with the National Biological Service and the minerals information section of the Bureau of Mines, creating a more robust library for the agency's work. In commemoration of this merger, the new agency planted this tree on October 30, 1997. The framed inscription at the base of the tree reads, Planted in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the establishment of the new United States Geological Survey (USGS) created by the October 1996 merger of the former National Biological Service and a portion of the Bureau of Mines with USGS. Also pictured on the marker is the distribution of Acer rubrum L. in the United States.
USGS has mapped several woodland and rock garden walks on its campus in the area north of the Powell Federal Building, where the October Glory maple resides.