Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, Oct 30 2004 - Tree Planting in Annapolis (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Jesse Allen
Participants:Jesse Allen, Kate Copanic, John Putman, Mark Reynolds, Vera Bjurstrom, Tressa Ellis, Kristen Larson, Eric Bjurstrom, Sean Riggs, Paula Moran, Carol Middleton, Lauren Silberman, Keith Ellis, John Stone, Christopher Herman, Colin Babb, Wendy Wickham, Allison Ehrman, Wendy Denton, Richard Just, Jeff La Noue

Write Up:
Most of our tree-planting crew managed to find their way, bright and early, around the crowded streets of Annapolis (the roads were already clogging up with traffic for the Navy Homecoming and the WRNR Fall Festival on West Street in the city even at 8:30 AM in the morning) to the Annapolis waste water treatment plant. We all signed in, met Mike Lemon from Winchester Homes (the sponsor for the event who provided not only all the trees and fertilizer and mulch, but had also come earlier and augered the holes into which the trees were planted) and Terry Galloway from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and TreeMendous, the coordinator who makes it possible to plant native trees on public lands to restore ecological balance. We were also joined by a number of employees of Weyerhauser, a corporate sponsor of the event, and provider of the free T-shirts available in all sizes that happen to be wxtra large. Lauren modeled the T-shirts for us all with great grace and style despite the shirt coming to her knees.

After signing in and grabbing a little coffee and danishes provided for us, we grabbed tools, stood through a quick orientation with Terry about how to plant the trees, and then spread out to get working. At one point in the demonstration, Terry explained the need to cut into the root balls to chop any circling roots which would ultimately strangle the tree. But she did not have a knife. New member Carol Middleton was the fastest on the draw with her pocket knife to help out, but clearly several others were carrying knives of their own with them. Who knew MOCers were so heavily armed? I must be careful what I say in this report... :-)

There were about 300 trees (and as it turned out, about 270 holes) lined near the edge of the property of the water treatment plant. Only a hundred feet or so from our new tree buffer is Back Creek, and the Chesapeake Bay is also quite close to the location. The new trees were being placed to provide a stabilizing riparian buffer to help filter water and clean out pollution before it has a chance to run into either the Bay or Back Creek, improving the air and water quality. But to do that, the native trees need to get a good start in life, sending down roots and settling in to their new quarters, then over the next few years, putting out new shoots and growing in. Typically these trees (a mix of various natives including river birch, shadberry, and beeches) take several years before they have grown in enough to start making a dent in the local pollution, but once they do, they can be significant players in cleaning up the local environment for another hundred years or so.

So we can come down to the Annapolis Waste Water treatment plant with our great grandchildren to show them the forest we planted for them.

The work went swiftly with a good sized crew, so we were finished with planting trees by around 11:30 or so, having put in a pretty good couple of hours getting them all in. We said goodbye to members Evonne and Sean who could not stay for lunch, while the rest of us went across the street to the Mexican Cafe, which somehow managed to find seating for 22 dirty grubby people. I attempted to do a round of introductions to include a couple of later arriving members that not everyone had had a chance to meet and say hello to, but got shoed down.

After a fine repast and some good conversation, it was time to call it a day, or at least a completed event, and we all went home. We shall have to return to admire our new forest some day in the coming years.

-- Jesse Allen

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