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Chesapeake Conservation Corps Members are Making a Difference in Prince George’s County

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Providing young adults with opportunities to gain green career skills and become more engaged through meaningful community service is crucial to the protection and restoration of our environment and natural resources.

The Chesapeake Conservation Corps places young adults with nonprofit organizations or government agencies around the Chesapeake Bay region for a year of service focused on improving local communities and advancing environmental initiatives. This year’s cohort includes two members placed with host organizations in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Corps member Andrew Jones is a graduate of Salisbury University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore, receiving a dual degree in biology and environmental science. He was placed with the Town of Edmonston and spent his year increasing green initiatives within the Town.

For his capstone project, Andrew established an after school environmental club at William Wirt Middle School. The club was highly successful, attracting 30 students and engaging them in a variety of rewarding environmental experiences. Students installed a native pollinator garden and a rain garden on campus. They also participated in community clean ups and storm drain stenciling to reduce litter in the community.

Andrew’s fellow Corps member, Kelly Peaks, graduated from Marist College with a degree in environmental science. She was placed with the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland. She spent her year supporting the Center’s initiatives such as the Sustainable Maryland certification program.

For her capstone project, Kelly worked on updating and redesigning the Sustainable Maryland website. The current website was outdated and did not have the most up-to-date information about the program. The Sustainable Maryland program helps municipalities fund green initiatives to improve and revitalize their community. Municipalities may select from a variety of actions to complete in order to achieve certification. Kelly led the development of new actions, updates to current actions, and creation of certification tiers. These updates make the website more user friendly and help to further promote the program. The Environmental Finance Center expects to release the full website update later this year.

Thank you, Andrew and Kelly, for the great work you’ve done this year with your host organizations and in Prince George’s County!

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is excited to celebrate this year’s cohort and welcome next year’s cohort of Chesapeake Conservation Corps members at the upcoming orientation and graduation ceremony in August. Next year’s cohort of Corps members is expected to include four members placed with host organizations in Prince George’s County.

Elementary School Leads the Way in Stormwater Management

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By Shannon Taylor
Chesapeake Bay Trust Summer Intern

With large campuses full of green fields for kids to play in, elementary schools such as James Craik Elementary School (JCES), are great places to implement stormwater management. The students there are proud to call themselves a certified Maryland Green School. Along with incorporating environmental subjects into their curriculum, the staff of JCES, with assistance from the Port Tobacco River Conservancy, implemented stormwater management programs on their grounds in order to limit their school’s rainwater, sediment, and nutrient runoff into the downstream Port Tobacco Creek: one of ten major tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay in Charles County.

The project addresses stormwater flowing from the school grounds, including runoff from roofs and parking lots, that ultimately enters Port Tobacco Creek. This project installed a 16,000 square foot bioretention best management practice (BMP) to capture stormwater from these impervious surfaces. It also features 1,000 native plants, including plants that are attractive to pollinators.

During storm events, rainwater flowing off the elementary school’s parking lot once emptied directly into the school playing fields and ultimately into the nearby Port Tobacco Creek. The bio retention BMP, however, diverts water through a descending path of river stones, and native vegetation to create a natural filter for rainwater runoff, allowing the majority of the stormwater to infiltrate at the bioretention feature and to allow clean, filtered water to make its way into the Port Tobacco Creek.

James Craik’s principle Michelle Beckwith is excited for the students to “have the opportunity to learn about and study, hands on, the ecosystem.” This project, she says, “will also help them learn about the importance of water conservation, and the beauty of nature”, as well as “provide a change of scenery” and “fresh air” to the students.. The Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT), Charles County, Michelle Beckwith, and Julie Simpson recently met at the project onsite during the annual kickball game at the school in May.  “This project is an excellent example of how stormwater management can be artistically designed while providing important function and treatment in a highly visible location, perfect for educating young students,” says Sarah T. Koser, Senior Program Officer at CBT.

Thanks to both the Port Tobacco River Conservancy and James Craik Elementary school for their commitment to cleaning up the Chesapeake’s tributaries.

Students Perform Investigations and Implement Projects on Campus to Keep Our Rivers Clean

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Freshwater streams and rivers are a valuable resource to us all, providing drinking water and places to swim, fish, and canoe. Unfortunately, only about 10% of Maryland’s waterways are in good condition. The rest rank in fair or poor condition due to polluted runoff that enters our waterways. When it rains, the water runs off of pavement, roofs, and other impervious surfaces that don’t allow for soaking into the ground. As it flows across these surfaces, it picks up and carries pollutants such as litter, oil, and gasoline into storm drains and directly into our rivers.

An advisory agency of the Potomac Basin states, the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB), provides educators with a stormwater education program titled Score Four: Students, Schools, Streams, and the Bay. This program engages students in experiments and projects right on their school grounds to reduce runoff and water pollution. Using indoor and outdoor lessons and investigations, students learn about their local watershed and assess factors that contribute to its polluted runoff. Using their findings, the students then plan and conduct an appropriate stormwater action project on their campus. Action projects include native plantings, rain gardens, and storm drain stenciling. The students demonstrate ownership of their project and have pride in knowing that they are making a difference in their school and community.

In 2015 and 2016, ICPRB received two grant awards to conduct their Score Four program in Prince George’s County public schools. These projects were funded by the Prince George’s Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program. For these two projects, ICPRB collaborated with teachers at four schools in the County to conduct the Score Four program, engaging over 1,100 students.

At Northwestern High School, ICPRB teamed up with English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher, Kari Rowe. For their action project, the students installed two conservation landscape gardens at the front entrance of the school. These gardens not only beautify the campus, but also absorb runoff from the adjacent sidewalks. The gardens were such a success that the school’s principal requested that Kari and her students plant more gardens on campus with financial support from the school.  This collaboration with Kari and her ESOL students led to the development of bilingual educational materials for Spanish speakers.

At Parkdale High School, ICPRB worked with science teacher, Malka Ostchega. For their action project, the students designed and planted the beginnings of a food forest. They planted 78 native fruit and nut-bearing trees and shrubs such as low bush blueberry, serviceberry, and paw paw. The food forest is located on a hill next to the school’s parking lot. The trees and shrubs in the food forest will slow down and reduce the volume of runoff and sediment coming from the hill. Watch this video to hear what students at Parkdale High School had to say about their project.

At Accokeek Academy, ICPRB collaborated with six science teachers for the Score Four program. For their action project, the students planted native plants in raised beds that would be transplanted to their conservation landscape garden.

At the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College, ICPRB worked in partnership with social studies teacher, Carmen Wright, and science teacher, Apollo Cordon. For their action project, the students planted a conservation landscape garden next to the building’s parking lot. Students selected native plants such as butterfly milkweed to support monarch butterfly populations.

Thank you ICPRB for engaging students in environmental stewardship to keep our rivers clean and healthy!

Chesapeake Conservation Corps Profile: Connor Liu & The Nature Conservancy

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We’re showcasing the unique experience of participating in the Chesapeake Conservation Corps by sharing profiles of Corps member of the 2018-2019 cohort along with information on their host site and descriptions of the work they have been doing.

Maryland native, Connor Liu grew up a few short miles from the Potomac River. Before joining the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, Connor worked at several environmental organizations in Maryland including the Assateague Island National Seashore. Interestingly, Connor also spent a summer in Mozambique researching flora and fauna of the wild African ecosystem at Gorongosa National Park. His Corps service host site, The Nature Conservancy, fits Connor’s interest in restoration, stating that “restoring habitat is work that strengthens the intimate bond that humans should have with the land. One can observe tangible progress and there is little that seems more fulfilling to me.”

Capstone projects are a graduation requirement for all Corps members at the conclusion of their year of service. A capstone project is an initiative designed by the Corps member that advances both an interest of the member and a priority objective of the member’s host site. Connor’s capstone project is focused on monitoring and restoration of red spruce trees in Maryland.

Since The Nature Conservancy began this work in 1996, they have planted over 65,000 red spruce seedlings in western Maryland. Red spruce trees have numerous benefits to forest ecosystems, including providing habitat for native species (such as mice, voles, bears, deer and hares), keeping headwater streams cool (which allows native trout to stay at their preferred body temperature), and providing a carbon sink. Connor set up 27 monitoring sites over a 30-acre area of Red Spruce trees (planted last year) and proceeded to count new seedlings to determine survival and reproductive rates. Connor organized surveying teams in partnership with the Deep Creek Conservation Corps (See Below) to be as precise and efficient as possible. Thanks to Connor’s work, there are data supporting the efforts to bring back red spruce populations in Maryland.

Connor’s project also involved a restoration technique needed to help the red spruce survive called “release.” This part of the project is necessary to balance red spruce trees’ sunlight needs in older forests with denser canopy that does not ordinarily allow enough sunlight for them to grow efficiently. Connor selectively girdles common hardwoods to allow red spruce to ascend to the canopy centuries faster than they would have naturally. Girdling (also called ringbarking) is the act of removing a strip of bark from an area of a tree, which will limit or halt its growth above the area of the girdle. This process has been successful in West Virginia and through his capstone project, Connor has brought it to Maryland. This process is meant to help the overall diversity of the forests as well.

The Nature Conservancy is providing additional trainings for Connor this year, including native plant identification, invasive species identification and removal, GIS mapping, and prescribed fire skills. Prescribed burns are an important part of forestry management. Connor has been trained on the process and conducts them in many areas of Maryland (such as the Nassawango Preserve, Maryland Forest Service, Department of Natural Resource Heritage, Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge, and Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge). (See Above).

Chesapeake Conservation Corps members hold “All Hands on Deck” days where all Corps members participate in projects at various host sites. Recently, Connor, along with this year’s cohort of Corps members, helped build a “Nature Discovery Area” at Anita C Leight Estuary Center in Harford County. Connor, along with fellow Corps members Olivia Wisner (Chesapeake Bay National Estuary Research Reserve) and Bradley Simpson (Audubon Naturalist Society), are pictured taking a short break after installing a sunken canoe element in the play space. Next month, the Corps members will have one more “All Hands on Deck” experience on Poplar Island with Maryland Environmental Service to conduct monarch butterfly surveys.

Connor hopes to stay with The Nature Conservancy, or take his experience in the program to the Peace Corps after graduation. Connor loves the Chesapeake Conservation Corps program because it allows him to see many environmental projects all over the state of Maryland and network with other recent college graduates with the same interests as him. The Chesapeake Bay Trust is excited to celebrate this year’s cohort and welcome next year’s cohort of Chesapeake Conservation Corps members at the upcoming orientation and graduation ceremony that will take place at Camp Letts in Edgewater in August. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

 

Meet the Staff Behind the Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program

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I recently had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate program staff, Bre’Anna Brooks and Janina Jones. This program provides homeowners, businesses, and others, the opportunity to receive a reimbursement for installing practices that reduce polluted runoff and keep our rivers clean. The Chesapeake Bay Trust is proud to partner with Prince George’s County on their program.

Bre’Anna Brooks (right in the picture) is a Program Coordinator with the Chesapeake Bay Trust and manages the Rain Check Rebate program.

Janina Jones (left in the picture) joined the Chesapeake Bay Trust as a summer intern and supports the Rain Check Rebate program. She is a native of Prince George’s County and currently attends Coastal Carolina University.

Can you tell us about yourself?

Bre’Anna: I am originally from Colorado. I attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies. After I graduated, I served in the AmeriCorps where I conducted large-scale invasive species removal projects and worked at the accredited Denver Zoo as a camp instructor. In 2016, I moved to Maryland and shortly thereafter, joined the Chesapeake Bay Trust. I was driven to the area due to an interest in making a positive impact on restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed. At the Trust, I currently manage programs that engage communities in projects to restore our waterways, beautify our communities, and increase awareness about important environmental topics. I also lead the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and am broadly involved in Diversity, Equity and, Inclusion efforts in the Chesapeake Bay region. I am also certified as a Maryland Master Naturalist.

Janina: I have lived the majority of my life in Prince George’s County. I currently attend Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina and am pursing a B.S. in Marine Science. I plan to attend graduate school and hope to tackle the issue of microplastics found in our waters.

What is your favorite story or project from the Rain Check Rebate program?

Bre’Anna: The stories that stand out are the ones in which residents say, “My project is making a difference!” This difference may be in terms of improving their community through beautification,  in the functionality of a project that improves drainage, or in the larger context of keeping local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay clean.

What do you love most about the Rain Check Rebate program?

Bre’Anna: This program allows us to provide on-site, technical assistance to interested individuals who are unsure which practices make the most sense for their situation. I love that we can provide expertise on the practices (e.g. rain gardens and permeable pavement) to applicants in an understandable way.

Janina: I love that the program helps homeowners not only beautify their property, but also educate them about how their daily lives impact their environment.

Can you tell us a fun or interesting fact about you?

Bre’Anna: During my undergraduate studies, I spent a semester in Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. I swam with the Galápagos penguin and sea lion and hiked the Sierra Negra volcano! It was the experience of a lifetime!

Janina: I am fluent in both English and German.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Bre’Anna: The Rain Check Rebate Program is such a delight to coordinate because of the community interaction. I am fortunate to work with local residents, business owners, and nonprofits to help advance the goals of the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment. This includes improving the quality of life for its communities by promoting green solutions to stormwater runoff.

Janina: I am excited to be a part of the Chesapeake Bay Trust team for the summer. I look forward to providing more assistance to the Rain Check Rebate program.

Thank you Bre’Anna and Janina for sharing with us today! 

To learn more about the Rain Check Rebate program and how you can participate, click here.

The Asbury-Broadneck United Methodist Church Restoration Project Keeps Historic Cemetery Safe from Stormwater Runoff

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By Chante Goodger,
Chesapeake Bay Trust Spring Semester Intern

Headstones would float as the stormwater runoff flowed from an uphill park into the historic African American church’s cemetery, where civil war soldiers as well as Harriet Tubman’s descendants are buried.

This has come to an end at the Asbury-Broadneck United Methodist Church (ABUMC) cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay Trust, through the Anne Arundel County Watershed Restoration Grant program, awarded ABUMC and project partner the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay funding so that they would be able to finally fix the issue. “The historical and cultural context of this project make it that much more unique and important as it reflects a direct-action response to embracing environmental restoration and diversity and inclusion in natural resource management,” said Randy Rowel, Jr., Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church Stormwater Disciple.

According to Abbi Huntzinger, Maryland Restoration Program Manager for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, “This project was truly transdisciplinary project approach with engineers, landscape architects, and also archeologists in case there were remains found during construction.”

Restorative work began in November 2018 and has been completed; with a unique step pool conveyance system, an imbricated channel, and one more step pool that drains out into a mowed wetland which was originally a grass wetland. “The church members did the planting,” said Ms. Huntzinger. And to do so, church members sought certification through the Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy. Additionally, the church funded and built the bridge entrance to the cemetery grounds.

In fact, before the current church was built there was another church which burned down during a fire in the 1900’s. “All of the burial records of who was buried here were lost in the fire,” says Ms. Huntzinger.  Consequently, that made it difficult to pinpoint where the restorative team would site the project without disturbing the “forever residents of the cemetery.”

As a  further preventative, the restoration team upgraded existing stormwater management practices at the Broadneck Park so that the stormwater would filter through the larger stones and the smaller stones, in the swale. The rocks in the swale prevented the water from running off into a nearby house’s backyard which led into the cemetery.

The area is now thriving with thousands of tadpoles, dragon flies, wetland plants and the grave sites are secure as you walk around the historic African American church grounds. “This project is about planting seeds in our community to show them the great positive aspects of connecting with nature, restoring nature, and preserving our communities of colors legacy,” remarked Mr. Rowel.

In 2017, the Capital Gazette newspaper covered the origination of the project and interviewed church members on their incredible efforts to solve the problem. Read the full story here.

Stormwater Savvy Program Combines Clean Water Goals With Community Vision

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The Neighborhood Design Center helps communities develop master plans that are both people and environment friendly. 

Polluted stormwater runoff negatively impacts our environment, our communities, and the people who live there. Fortunately, many organizations like the Neighborhood Design Center help communities reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff. Through their Stormwater Savvy program, the Neighborhood Design Center works with the community to create master plans that combine stormwater management with community goals.

Stormwater Savvy isn’t just about design services. In addition to providing action-oriented master plans, the program seeks to inspire people to take stewardship of the land around them. Through an immersive community design process, the Neighborhood Design Center helps communities in Prince George’s County refine their vision and create drawings and plans that clearly communicate that vision. These plans can be included in applications to request funding and then, as needed, to professional contractors who can bring the community vision to life.

The Neighborhood Designed Center has received grant awards through the Prince George’s Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program in 2014, 2015, and 2017 to support the Stormwater Savvy program. View this fact sheet to learn more about one of their awarded projects. Through Stormwater Savvy, the Neighborhood Design Center has worked with schools, faith-based organizations, homeowner associations, and others to develop individualized master plans that fit their needs and address their stormwater issues. For example, a master plan may contain recommendations to improve community areas by planting native trees and a rain garden that not only makes the space more aesthetically pleasing and inviting, but also reduces standing water and flooding. The Neighborhood Design Center provides the Summer Five Homeowners Association Master Plan as a project highlight and example.

Thank you to the Neighborhood Design Center and their Stormwater Savvy program for helping communities develop their community vision and increase their connection with the environment!

Towson University Tree Campus USA Award Serves as an Example for All

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Towson University, a recent Tree Campus award winner and Chesapeake Bay Trust awardee, organized an Arbor Day event to showcase their commitment to planting and caring for trees and recognize their many environmental and physiological benefits.

In December 2018, Towson University received a grant award through the Trust’s Outreach and Restoration Grant Program to revitalize the university’s Glen Arboretum. The goal of this project was to further the mission of the Glen Arboretum on the Towson University campus. The revitalization of the Glen will help improve the health of the Jones Fall watershed through removal of invasive species, increased native plants and trees, and decreased erosion along stream banks. It will also provide educational experiences for students and the surrounding community. Through events and promotions by the students, faculty and volunteers, the Glen Arboretum is not only a valuable environment for university research, but a community resource for restoration and visitation.

Throughout the year, the Chesapeake Bay Trust offers several programs that encourage the planting and growth of trees as a means of improving air quality, increasing tree canopies and forest habitats, and improving water quality in local watersheds. Specific programs like the Charles County Forestry, Anne Arundel County Forestry and forested Land Protection, Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate, and Anne Arundel Mini Community Planting programs along with other similar county programs focus on increasing tree planting and protection of existing forested land. Many other grant opportunities include tree planting as a part of stormwater reduction or watershed restoration.

By increasing tree cover and expanding green areas, erosion can be reduced, water and soil quality can be improved, airborne pollutants can be filtered and ozone pollution resulting from high summer temperatures can be reduced. The International Society of Arboriculture provides a wealth of information on the value of trees, successfully choosing a new tree and how to plant it, pruning mature trees, and the importance of mulching.

Looking for inspiration to jumpstart efforts in your local community? The Arbor Day Foundation has launched an initiative aimed at worldwide efforts to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities and inspire 5 million new tree planters by the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day in 2022.

Ideally, the best time to plant is from the last leaf drop in fall or in early spring before budbreak. Now is the time to determine the right tree for your site. Use the Chesapeake Bay Native Plant Center to find native trees that provide shade, fruits or nuts, colorful flowers or distinct fall color, and more.  Lastly, how do you plan to maintain the health of your new planting for long-term sustainability. The Department of Energy and Environment notes that maintenance is extremely important, especially in the first two years after planting.

For more information on everything related to trees, including planting, mulching, pruning, and when you may need an arborist, visit: www.treesaregood.org. The Maryland Department of the Environment sponsors Tree-mendous Maryland with the goal of helping Maryland residents with access to affordable trees to plant on their public lands. With permission from landowners, volunteers can plant trees at schools, in state and community parks, local open space, street trees and more. And keep checking The Trust’s grants page for current and upcoming opportunities to add trees to your communities’ landscape.

Thank You and Farewell to Behnke Nurseries

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After 89 years, Behnke Nurseries announced that this spring season would be their last. They will close their nursery on the evening of Saturday, June 15th. Behnke Nurseries grew to be more than just a garden center. It became a beloved destination with kind and knowledgeable staff who created a sense of community. Over the years, Behnke Nurseries has been a wonderful community partner in Prince George’s County, for the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and to other awardees.

In 2014 and 2015, Behnke Nurseries partnered with the Low Impact Development Center (LID Center). The LID Center received two grant awards through the Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program to conduct two projects with Behnke Nurseries. These projects aimed to showcase the Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate program and reduce stormwater runoff on Behnke’s property.

For the first project, the LID Center and Behnke’s installed all seven of the Rain Check Rebate stormwater practices on Behnke’s property. The seven practices include rain barrels, cisterns, urban tree canopies, rain gardens, pavement removal, permeable pavement, and green roofs. These practices improve local waterways by reducing polluted runoff from entering our streams and rivers. Each of the installations included educational signage for visitors to learn about the practices and how they work.

For the second project, the LID Center and Behnke’s installed a Rain Check Rebate resource center inside Behnke’s to provide information about the program and how to participate. For several years, Behnke’s has served as a demonstration site for the Rain Check Rebate program where residents and others can see the practices in action, learn how to implement them on their property, and how to participate in the program.

In addition, Behnke Nurseries won the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s Commercial Stewards Award in 2017 for their commitment to environmental stewardship. This award recognized Behnke’s devotion to environmental stewardship as a company in many ways. First, they have promoted the use of and educating the community about native plants through their “BaySafe Plants Program.”  Second, they integrated environmental stewardship into their business practices through responsible procurement and marketing. Third, they implemented an array of innovative practices on their own property to improve water quality and reduce runoff. Finally, Behnke’s has partnered with other community organizations to further environmental initiatives.

Launched in 1998, the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s Scholarship and Awards Program honors students, educators, individuals, communities, businesses, and organizations for their work to promote environmental education, improve local communities, and help restore the natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay region.

Thank you Behnke Nurseries for all you have done for our community and environment. We are all the better for having known and worked with you!

Tree Adoption Program Engages Residents and Increases Tree Canopy

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Prince George’s County, Maryland nonprofit increases tree canopy and engages residents through tree adoption program.

In the video above, Executive Director of Global Health and Education Projects (GHEP), Romuladus Azuine, talks about the Family Tree Adoption Program (FTAP) and its impact on the community.

Global Health and Education Projects is a nonprofit organization based in Prince George’s County, Maryland. They developed the Family Tree Adoption Program to increase the amount of trees in Prince George’s County and educate the community about the many benefits trees provide. Trees clean the air, prevent water pollution, reduces energy costs, lowers city temperatures, and much more.

Through FTAP, homeowners in Prince George’s County, including those in Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI) communities, receive native trees and shrubs to plant on their property. Once planted, the residents and their families adopt the trees and agree to care for and maintain them. In addition, GHEP hosts tree planting demonstrations and workshops to increase community participation and awareness about the benefits of trees and the connection to human health.

In 2015 and 2017, GHEP received two grant awards through the Prince George’s Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program to pilot and support the development of FTAP. These two projects resulted in over 200 trees planted on private residential properties. More recently, in December 2018, GHEP received a grant award through the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s Outreach and Restoration Grant Program. With this grant award, GHEP will plant an additional 100 trees in the County.

Hundreds of families have adopted trees and learned the benefits to their families, their community, and the environment. Families in Prince George’s County interested in planting trees on their property can contact GHEP for tree availability or participate in the County’s Rain Check Rebate Program.

Thanks Global Health and Education Projects and their Family Tree Adoption Program for helping to keep our communities clean and healthy and educating residents about the importance of trees!