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Baltimore County News

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Date: Apr 26, 2019

Olszewski marks Arbor Day with reforestation project, Tree City USA award

County Executive Johnny Olszewski celebrated Arbor Day with Shady Spring Elementary School students and staff, planting trees to complete a 2.5-acre reforestation project that surrounds the schoolyard with native trees.

“Trees are critical infrastructure for our communities and for our environment, and it makes perfect sense for us to replace underutilized lawn space in schoolyards with forested acreage that reduces air pollution, absorbs stormwater and provides shade to help cut energy costs,” said Olszewski. “We appreciate our partners in the school system for helping us make a difference that will span generations.”

The Shady Spring Elementary School project is a 2.5-acre native tree planting along the perimeter of the school property. Students had the opportunity to plant and monitor the newly planted trees, meeting several Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards and Maryland Green School objectives. The project is a result of a partnership between the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) and BCPS’ Office of Science, called Comprehensive Landscape Improvement Projects. Since 2014, they have reforested 39 acres and planted 196 landscape-style trees at 37 schools.

EPS’ approach to planting on school property focuses on planting trees on underutilized school lawns to increase the County’s tree canopy and reduce BCPS’ long-term mowing costs. In addition to these plantings, EPS also planted 957 native shade trees from 2011 through 2012 at 46 County schools and other facilities under EPS’ Cool Trees program.

Baltimore County named a Tree City USA – for the 15th time

At today’s Arbor Day celebration, the County Executive accepted a 2018 Tree City USA award from the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. This marks the 15th year that Baltimore County has earned this high-level distinction. During that time, the County has reforested more than 375 acres. The Tree City USA designation requires that a jurisdiction spend at least $2 per capita on tree planting and care, and maintain a tree ordinance and an organization that advocates for trees. Olszewski presented an Executive Proclamation designating April 26, 2019 as Arbor Day in Baltimore County.

County working to achieve countywide tree canopy of 50 percent

Baltimore County's goal is to achieve and maintain a 50 percent tree canopy Countywide and within the three drinking water reservoirs by the year 2025. Additionally, the County is striving to achieve and maintain a 40 percent tree coverage within more populated areas inside the Urban Rural Demarcation Line and for each of the Census Designated Places (CDPs). Tree canopy maps and data on land cover are available by request for 30 CDPs in Baltimore County. These may be useful for finding opportunities for planting trees and for gaining an understanding of overall tree canopy levels in individual communities.

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Revised September 11, 2017