FREDERICK, MD. – In celebration of Arbor Day, the Division of Energy and Environment (DEE) is proud to announce that it has received Maryland's People Loving and Nurturing Trees (PLANT) Award. The award is issued by The Maryland Association of District Forestry Boards in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Their PLANT Award program annually recognizes communities that prioritize and actively care for their trees and are committed to improving their forested areas' overall health and sustainability. Frederick County has achieved “Green” status, the program’s highest award level, which acknowledges the County’s sustained commitment to forest conservation.
The DEE's Department of Stormwater implements multiple projects and programs to increase forested land in Frederick County. Since 2018, they have planted over 161,000 trees and reforested more than 584 acres. Trees planted include species such as Northern Red Oak, Persimmon, Sugar Maple, Redbud, American Plum, Bald Cypress, Black Walnut, Sycamore, and River Birch, among other native plants that will benefit the local environment and create or improve wildlife habitat.
Increasing the number of trees in our community provides many tangible benefits and is part of Frederick County's work to combat climate change and protect the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and pollutants from the atmosphere, prevent soil erosion, help moderate extreme temperature fluctuations, increase biodiversity, reduce stormwater runoff, and improve water quality. Trees and forests also provide a range of economic benefits, from timber products to local tourism.
"We are honored to receive this recognition from the State of Maryland," said Project Manager Linda Williamson. "The Creek ReLeaf program has a tremendous positive impact on our watershed today, and its benefits will last for future generations. It is wonderful to have that success acknowledged, and we are excited to continue to grow our work- and our forests!"
National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April. It is an event that recognizes the importance of trees and the value of planting them to maintain healthy communities. Residents are encouraged to visit the DEE website at www.frederickcountymd.gov/SustainableFCMD to learn more about Creek ReLeaf reforestation and see lists of upcoming community tree planting events, litter cleanups, and other opportunities to participate in environmental programs. Those interested in these projects can also follow the DEE Facebook page and join the community conversation at www.Facebook.com/SustainableFCMD.