Our Challenge: Baltimore’s Urban Forest is in Decline
Baltimore’s urban forest consists of 2.6 million trees, one quarter of which are distressed, dead, or dying according to the U.S. Forest Service. Baltimore City’s tree canopy has declined by a third to just 27% of overall landmass—and our hottest, starkest streets are altogether without trees. The city aims to increase the tree canopy to 40% of landmass by 2040. To achieve this goal, Baltimore must plant 750,000 trees at a rate of 25,000 new trees each year. At present, Baltimore does not plant even 10,000 new trees a year.
Our Mission: Transform Baltimore with Trees
The Baltimore Tree Trust (BTT) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to restoring the city’s urban forest and making Baltimore a more beautiful place to live through increased tree plantings, tree stewardship, community engagement, public education, advocacy, and research. Collaborating closely with the city’s TreeBaltimore program, nonprofit partners, private landowners, city residents, and businesses, the BTT will serve as a transformational agent for the dramatic restoration of Baltimore’s aging tree canopy.
Trees For Public Health
BTT’s first TPH neighborhood is McElderry Park, located in Southeast Baltimore, where we were have been collaborating with residents and organizations to help completely plant up barren blocks with new street trees. BTT began by conducting a tree inventory employing local youth, and that data has been a key to creating a systematic planting plan. By the end of 2015, working with local residents, we plan to fully plant up the neighborhood with almost 800 new trees. In 2012, volunteers planted 101 new street trees!
We are also working with the TreeBaltimore Working Group to identify and launch new Trees for Public Health projects in other city neighborhoods much concrete and few trees. The TPH project, modeled on a Million Trees program in New York City, includes a multi-year public health research study that seeks to track how the well-being of the residents and the overall community are affected by the increased tree canopy—focusing on health, social, and economic indicators.
Join us this spring as we continue collaborating with the residents and organizations in and around the McElderry Park neighborhood to completely plant up barren blocks with new street trees. Our focus for this 3rd phase of planting is the 200 through 600 blocks of N. Linwood Avenue. Saturday volunteer planting dates are set, so mark them on your calendar, RSVP, and come on out and help plant.
All planting dates are on Saturdays, from 9:00 am–1:00 pm.
Rain date is always the following Sunday after the Saturday date.
For all planting dates this spring, we will meet at the Prince of Peace Church, 600 N. Linwood Ave. 21205. We start the event with a Street Tree Planting Class – a very important and necessary part of your volunteer service. Getting the tree off to a good start by planting it correctly makes all the difference in its growth and survival.
Spring Street Tree Planting dates:
Gloves and tools supplied. Please dress appropriately for outdoor work and bring your strong back and good heart!
McElderry Park Trees for Public Health Initiative
Short video on impact new street trees have on one Baltimore City neighborhood.
The Trees for Public Health (TPH) initiative
aims to increase our urban forest by fully planting up low-income neighborhoods that have high asthma rates and sparse tree canopies.
The Baltimore TreeKeepers is a city-wide tree stewardship program open to anyone interested in Baltimore's trees. TreeKeepers promotes healthy trees by educating residents and increasing their role in the care of the City's trees. Through this training, citizens can become tree advocates and share the responsibility to plant and care for trees in their neighborhood and throughout the City.
TreeKeepers is being developed through a partnership among Baltimore City’s Department of Recreation and Parks’ TreeBaltimore program, the Baltimore Tree Trust, and the Baltimore City Forestry Board with assistance from the Department of Planning’s Office of Sustainability, Baltimore Green Space, Blue Water Baltimore and the Parks & People Foundation.
TreeKeepers includes several levels and types of classes, ranging from purely educational to hands-on training that teaches citizens to care for their trees and environment. Some of the hands-on training allows citizens to perform work on public trees that requires a permit; these classes will have a "test of competency" to certify citizens in best urban tree care practices. Certified tree planters and pruners will be encouraged to assist TreeBaltimore partners at spring and fall tree planting events.
The New TreeKeepers Program
will train hundreds of city residents in tree planting and care.
TreeKeepers Class: 201
Advanced Training for Tree Planting Certification
A Large Turn-out for TreeKeepers Classes
Enjoy a few photos from 102 - Science of Trees held on Saturday March 16th at Cylburn Arboretum. TreeKeepers will be out planting trees throughout the city!
Trees For Large Private Properties
Half of the land in Baltimore City where trees can be planted is privately owned. In this game-changing initiative, BTT will take the lead in working with owners of large private properties, developing strategic partnerships using incentive and rebate programs, volunteer organizing, and awards and recognition to celebrate major tree plantings.
The BTT will create a broad constituency for urban trees, informing and educating the public about the valuable role trees play in enhancing the economy, property values, public health, the Chesapeake Bay, and the city’s overall beauty and vitality.
The BTT will engage online, social, and traditional marketing to promote and celebrate trees, sharing content, resources, and information with our partners in the TreeBaltimore Working Group, emphasizing the collective efforts that will rebuild our urban forest.
Baltimore, like many cities across the nation—New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Sacramento—must commit to using green infrastructure to accomplish sustainability, create beautiful neighborhoods and improve the health of our citizens. To transform Baltimore with trees, the non-profit Baltimore Tree Trust works to increase funding opportunities.
Champion Baltimore’s urban forest by becoming a supporter of the Baltimore Tree Trust…
or send your tax-deductible check to:
Baltimore Tree Trust
P.O. Box 26202
Baltimore, MD 21210