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Hagerstown applies for additional Urban Greening grant

September 05, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER
  • Hagerstown City Engineer Rodney Tissue
File photo,

Hagerstown hopes to plant more trees next year with help from a state nonprofit organization.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue said his office applied for another Urban Greening grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to continue expanding the city's tree canopy.

The city received $35,000 from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to plant trees, water trees and adapt sidewalks to the trees this year, he said.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust awards the grant to help communities in Maryland implement "greening" plans that increase forest canopies, reduce stormwater runoff, improve air quality and enhance the quality of life in urban areas, according to the trusts' website, http://www.cbtrust.org.

The trust awards the grants in cooperation with TreeBaltimore, the USDA Forest Service and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Division, according to the website.

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By the end of the year, about 250 new trees are expected to be growing in Hagerstown, Tissue said.

Increasing the tree canopy is a project advocated by the city's Green Task Force, he said.

The task force suggested increasing the urban canopy to 30 percent coverage by the year 2050.

That recommendation has not been adopted by the city council, but Tissue said the Urban Greening grants will help reach that goal.

About one-third of the 250 trees have not yet been planted by contractor Dennison Landscaping Inc. of Fort Washington, Md., Tissue said.

"This was a terrible year to plant trees," he said. "We lost a significant number of the trees we planted."

Tissue said about 20 percent of the trees planted through the grant died.

The summer months in the Hagerstown area were among the hottest and driest on record.

Those trees were under warranty from the contractor, which will replace each one, he said.

Chesapeake Bay Trust was happy with how the city used the grant to plant trees, he said.

Children helped plant trees and some members of Neighborhoods 1st groups allowed the city to plant trees on private properties, Tissue said.

"They loved what we did," he said.

The city hopes it will receive a second grant and plant more trees in 2011.

Tissue said the city would try to plant as early as possible, even in the winter, when the trees are dormant and planting is ideal.

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