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.