Maryland PLANT Community - Awards Program

Plant Award Winner

At an Arbor Day celebration at Riverdale ES, Town of Riverdale Park received a PLANT award from MD DNR forester, Horace Henry, in recognition of the town's reforestation efforts.

People Loving And Nurturing Trees (PLANT) is a statewide award program to recognize communities for their tree planting and tree care efforts. Communities range from schools, homeowner organizations and parks to metropolitan areas, cities and towns.

There are four PLANT award levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Green. Successive levels require more formalized tree care activities. Although a community may remain at any level for an unlimited number of years, the goal of the program is to encourage a community to grow through the award levels by strengthening their commitment and care for their urban trees.

Description: Awards are given based on the number of accomplishments completed by the applicant during the award year. A minimum of 4 accomplishments is required to be recognized. Acceptable accomplishments for PLANT awards range from holding a one-time tree event or ceremony (Arbor Day) to having built comprehensive ongoing planting and maintenance programs. PLANT is sponsored by the Maryland DNR Forest Service and the Maryland Community Forestry Council. Applications must be received by the Maryland DNR Forest Service by January 31, 2017.

Communities submit an application in which they describe the events and activities that meet an award criteria. Applications must be submitted to the DNR Forest Service by January 31, 2017, and awards are presented in April, often in conjunction with local Arbor/Earth Day celebrations.

This application can be filled in on your computer. Return the completed, signed form and suggested documentation Anne Gilbert at the address listed below.

If you have any questions about the program please contact:

Anne Gilbert
Tree-Mendous Maryland Director
Tawes State Office Building E-1
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401


PLANT Community Award Winners

In 2009, 109 of Maryland’s communities demonstrated their commitment to caring for their Urban Forest resources by being PLANT Communities! PLANT stands for People Loving And Nurturing Trees. As you can see from the list of winners, communities from Oakland (Garrett County) to Ocean City (Worcester County) and from Chesapeake City (Cecil County) to LaPlata (Charles County) - all across Maryland - are full of People Loving And Nurturing Trees!



The BRONZE AWARD is an attractive framed certificate indicating the award level and community name. Communities qualify for the Bronze Award by sponsoring a single activity or "one time event" relating to trees or tree care. Typical activities include a tree planting, or Arbor or Earth Day event.




The SILVER AWARD includes an etched wooden plaque with silver nameplate and date tag engraved with the year of the award. The plaque is designed to display additional PLANT awards of silver (or higher) in subsequent years to document a community's on-going commitment to their trees. The Silver is intended to encourage activities that lay the groundwork for developing an urban forestry program. Such activities might include data collection for a tree or natural resource inventory or the creation of a Tree Board or Beautification Committee.




The GOLD AWARD is an engraved, gold-colored date plate to be mounted on the wooden PLANT plaque. The Gold Award recognizes communities for actively developing urban forestry programs to improve the health of their community's trees. Activities that qualify for this award level may include development of a tree management plan based on a previous inventory or adoption of tree protection regulations.




The GREEN AWARD is a green-colored date plate for display on the wooden PLANT plaque. Although simple in form, it represents the highest PLANT honor to recognize a community that has developed a well-established urban forestry program. This coveted award is reserved for programs that are funded, fully functional and staffed by qualified professionals (including volunteer assistance). Communities that are recipients of the federally awarded Tree City USA status automatically qualify for PLANT's Green Award.



To participate in Maryland's PLANT Program, simply fill in the PLANT application print it and mail to the region in which you live. The addresses are shown on the first page of the application. You may submit any time during the year but the yearly deadline is January 31 for awards to be made the following April.


The History of the PLANT Program Plant Award Winner

The Maryland PLANT Program was established in 1991 as a cooperative effort between the Maryland Community Forest Council (MCFC) and the Maryland Forest Service. The goal of the program was to help local communities step through the process of developing an on-going urban forestry program. By reinforcing small, initial efforts, communities begin to "adopt" their local tree resources and once engaged, become invested in maintaining the health and survival of the tree canopy. As the tasks become more complex, evolving into tree inventories and management plans, MCFC and the Forest Service can provide technical support and volunteer assistance to aid in the development of a formalized urban forestry program.

Before PLANT was established, national programs such as Tree City USA were providing these services for incorporated communities but smaller groups and unincorporated communities were not qualified to participate. PLANT was established to fill this gap and to encourage involvement by communities of all sizes.

During the first few years of the program, the number of participating communities grew to 30 in 1994. After program revisions in 1996, the number of PLANT communities skyrocketed from 67 in 1998 to 161 in year 2000. But the number of participants is only half of the story. Fostering growth through the award levels is a major goal of the PLANT program. Many communities enter at the Bronze Award level and gradually intensify their efforts; others may skip one or more levels to quickly achieve the top Green Award. PLANT encourages communities to intensify their efforts at their own pace. Sustainability is encouraged.


2015 PLANT Award Winners

Plant logo and MUCFC logo

Click here for a complete list of the 2015 PLANT Award Winners