Advocate for Trees
There are countless intersections between the work of Baltimore Tree Trust and local advocacy work. As a 501c3 nonprofit, we are eager to show up and support policy that promotes practical legislation that protects our urban forests. At a time where much of our public green space is threatened, it is particularly urgent that we work to defend, protect, and grow it.
In 2018 alone, the Tree Trust has been actively involved in supporting local legislation that supports our environment and our workforce. Click on the links below to learn more about the causes we support, and how you can get involved.
Forest Conservation Act (HB 766/SB 610): The FCA was passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 1991. It has the potential to be one of Maryland’s best tools for protecting Maryland’s forests during development, but the Act currently does not adequately protect forests of the highest ecological and economic value. It also requires much less acreage to be replanted than cleared and contains many exemptions or alternatives to retaining or replanting forest, ultimately resulting in a net loss of forest land. SB610/HB766 would:
- Clearly define “priority” forests
- Clarify what justifies clearing priority forests
- Require that an acre of forest be replanted for each acre of priority forest cut down
- Clarify that forest protection planning must come early in the development process
- Authorize and encourage better spending of fee-in lieu money so state, local and nonprofit agencies and groups that already replant trees can use some of those fees
Complete Streets (Maryland HB 535/HB 744): Complete Streets are designed for the safety and comfort of all users, not just individuals in motor vehicles. Many jurisdictions use Complete Streets redesigns to also incorporate green stormwater infrastructure. For example, instead of a concrete pedestrian refuge or bike lane buffer, the jurisdiction will install a rain garden. The street therefore becomes safer, prettier, and greener.
Environmental Justice Act (S. 1996/H.R. 4114): This bill would strengthen legal protections against environmental injustice by expanding and codifying the 1994 Executive Order on Environmental Justice (EO 12898). In addition, this bill would also require the consideration of cumulative impacts for permitting decisions under the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, which would help improve the quality of life for communities in urban and rural areas within close proximity to superfund sites or areas with concentrations of polluting facilities.
Choose Clean Water Coalition (Members since 2018): Since 2010 the Choose Clean Water Coalition has been harnessing the collective power of more than 230 groups to advocate for clean rivers and streams in all communities in the Chesapeake Bay region. By coordinating policy, messaging, action, and accountability, the Coalition is able to speak louder with one voice toward our collective goal – clean water.