by Kevin Keeley, Executive Editor
In 2011, the Baltimore Tree Trust kicked off their Trees for Public Health program in McElderry Park with the intent of populating bare city blocks with street trees. Using data collected with i-Tree Streets, the Tree Trust found that the 450 trees which existed in 2011 only provided 13 percent tree canopy. On November 16, the last two trees of the 2013 season were planted on E. Fayette Street. “We’re more than halfway completed,” said Amanda Cunningham, Executive Director of the Baltimore Tree Trust. “We’ve planted over 2.2 acres of trees so far.” When completed, the McElderry Park tree canopy will have been doubled.
The care for the freshly planted trees is divided between two groups of volunteers. The Baltimore Green Team cares for trees in the summer mother while TreeKeepers prunes in the winter months to protect the trees against winter storms.
The next phase of the program starts in spring 2014, establishing trees from McElderry Street to Lakewood Avenue and replanting trees along East Monument Street with the help of the East Monument Main Street Program. The McEldery Park portion of the project will finish in spring 2015 with the next project still yet being determined. Anyone interested in suggesting a neighborhood for the Trees for Public Health Program can email Cunningham by clicking here.
Program volunteers are encouraged to preregister here. “We meet at Rose Street Garden, located at 600 N Rose Street, watch a demonstration video on how to plant trees, and then break into teams.” Cunningham explained a volunteer’s morning. Meeting days are Saturdays at 9:00 AM once the planting season starts. Tools and gloves are provided via the Baltimore Tree Trust.