The following statement was provided by Baltimore County Government on April 24.
This morning in Cockeysville, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz planted a tree in honor of Arbor Day and accepted the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA 2013 Award on behalf of Baltimore County. This is the 10th year that the County has been recognized by this group as a national leader in forestry management and tree planting efforts.
The Tree City USA award is considered a high level of achievement for a county because it requires a tree ordinance (Forest Conservation Act & Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Act), an organization that advocates for trees (EPS Forest Sustainability Program and the citizen Forestry Board), an Arbor Day proclamation & event, and the expenditure of at least $2 per capita on tree care, maintenance and/or planting.
"We're proud of our commitment to the conservation, health, reforestation and stewardship of the County's trees and forests, and we appreciate the recognition that comes with this award," Kamenetz said.
As part of the ceremony, the County Executive proclaimed April 24 as Arbor Day in Baltimore County and planted a large tree at the Almshouse in Cockeysville, the site of a successful reforestation project that is a model for current projects funded through the state-mandated stormwater remediation fees. The County's Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) is using stormwater remediation fees to plant trees in urban and rural areas all across the County.
These efforts will help the County reach its Tree Canopy Goals while at the same time implementing the Chesapeake Bay Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan, which seeks to add 1,500 acres of new tree cover by the year 2025. EPS has already completed one 13-acre project, and several more are in the works, including additional reforestation projects and the planting of street trees in many of Baltimore County's neighborhoods.
County Offers Big Trees for Sale to the Public at Discounted Prices
This Spring, EPS is hosting its ninth Big Trees sale, promoting the planting of larger native shade tree species for residential properties.
Citizens can pre-order trees now on the EPS website, and the final sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, at the Baltimore County Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park in Cockeysville.
The Big Trees sale offers an array of big, native trees including seven different kinds of oak trees, as well as Red Maple, River Birch and Redbud. Larger native tree species are more beneficial than smaller ornamental trees, but can be difficult to find at local nurseries and garden retailers.
"Trees and forests are especially important for achieving water quality goals as well as for other community and ecosystem benefits," said EPS Director Vince Gardina. "So far, our Big Trees sales prior to 2014 have resulted in the 2,030 trees being planted."