Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced the County’s Department of Recreation & Parks will plant 150 trees in Rockburn Branch Park in Elkridge to mark three decades as an Arbor Day Foundation-designated “Tree City.” This year, the County has planted more than 7,000 trees, including a free giveaway of 2,020 native trees to residents back in August.
“Our 30th year as a designated ‘Tree City’ is a testament to Howard County’s commitment to a clean and sustainable environment,” said Ball. “Since taking office, Howard County has planted 51,000 new trees. Trees create environmental and economic value, improve air quality and fight climate change. As we celebrate this accomplishment, we must continue to push ourselves towards a greener future for Howard County and beyond.”
The County once again successfully met the criteria for this designation thanks to the ongoing efforts of several County Government agencies and the Howard County Forestry Board. These efforts included the:
- Purchase and ecological preservation of the five-acre Savage remainder property;
- Expansion of the Forest Conservation program;
- Giveaway of 2,020 native trees; and
- $1 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation that will go toward the expansion of tree planting programs in Howard County.
These new initiatives compliment the County’s pre-existing successful tree programs, including Recreation & Parks’ forestry programs and the Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Highways street tree program.
“In this year alone, Howard County has planted more than 7,000 trees,” said Recreation & Parks Director Raul Delerme. “As we look forward to 2021, county residents can expect Recreation & Parks and its partners to continue and grow our nationally-recognized tree cultivation and conservation efforts.”
Since 1976, the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program has provided more than 3,400 communities with the framework necessary to manage and expand its public trees. Tree City communities must meet four core standards of sound urban forestry management, which include maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.
To learn more about Howard County’s tree planting and conservation efforts, visithttps://livegreenhoward.com/land/tree-programs/.