Governor O’Malley Celebrates Earth Day With Students
Governor and 20 Students Plant a Tree at Community Center
UPPER MARLBORO, MD (April 22, 2011) - Governor Martin O’Malley and 20 students from the Rivers Adventure Camp at Upper Marlboro Community Center planted a tree today in celebration of Earth Day and to remind Marylanders to participate in the Marylanders Plant Trees Program
“Earth Day is a time for both reflection and action,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “We reflect on the state of our natural world, all the work we have done and all that needs to be done. We must also take this opportunity to make a difference and have a positive impact on our State, the Bay and Mother Nature. Planting a tree is a great way to make that difference.”
Governor O’Malley launched the Marylanders Plant Trees program two years ago with a goal of planting 50,000 new trees by 2010, through his Smart, Green & Growing initiative. Marylanders took action, planting and registering 50,089 new trees as of December 2010.
The State is also on track to exceed its goal of planting 1 million trees on public lands by 2011 by the Forest Brigade, which utilizes inmate labor in a partnership among the Department of Public Safety and Correctional services, the State Highway Administration and the Department of Natural Resources.
Trees protect water quality, clean our air and provide important wildlife habitat. One large tree can eliminate 5,000 gallons of stormwater runoff each year, and well placed trees can help reduce energy costs by 15 to 35 percent. Trees also help beautify communities and parks, provide sound barriers and shade, and help increase property values.
“The importance of maintaining healthy forests in our parks and planting new trees ultimately benefits everyone, as trees cleanse the air and beautify the parks. We are proud to be able to help with this environmental cause, and last year alone we planted over 500 trees in the parks,” says Ronnie Gathers, Director of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County.
The Marylanders Plant Trees program continues to offer $25 coupons toward the purchase of native trees costing $50 or more, redeemable at nearly 70 participating nurseries across the State. DNR encourages citizens to “plant and be counted” by registering every tree they plant. Participants will be eligible for prizes, while observing the environmental benefits of their tree through interactive maps and charts. For more information, a list of prizes, and to register a tree, visit trees.maryland.gov.
To ensure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards, Governor Martin O’Malley established the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature in 2008. Under the initiative, which is now being used as a national model, the Governor created the Maryland Civic Justice Corps and recently issued the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. The partnership’s report and recommendations were presented to Governor O’Malley in April 2009, and an ambitious plan is now in place to implement many new initiatives across the state, involving multiple partners.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov.