The inaugural tree planting for the County’s newest environmental program, Tree Montgomery, took place today with the help of County Executive Ike Leggett, Councilmember Hans Riemer, County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Director Lisa Feldt, and community and business representatives.
Developed and implemented by DEP, Tree Montgomery provides for the planting of large shade trees throughout the County, increases canopy cover and helps raise awareness of the benefits of trees. Trees planted under this program are funded by the Tree Canopy Law that was introduced by Leggett and passed by the County Council in 2013.
The planting of more than 30 trees took place at Round Hill Apartments in Chevy Chase, a multi-family community that recently lost many large shade trees due to age and storm damage. As the new trees grow, they will provide long-term shade for the parking lots, playgrounds and walkways, as well as the apartments, themselves. Shaded communities are cooler in the summer, thereby reducing energy needs and costs for residents.
“We are serious about preserving and protecting the environment, and establishing a sustainable lifestyle here in Montgomery County,” Leggett said. “The Tree Montgomery program we’re launching today further demonstrates these commitments, and I am pleased to be here to help get the program started.”
“Tree Montgomery will help reverse the loss of tree canopy due to development, storm damage, and age of many trees in the County,” said Feldt. “While the creation of the program was looking at the big picture — ensuring a strong, healthy canopy and economic growth across the County — the success of the program will be based on the one-on-one interactions with homeowners and property managers. Our goal is to show how even one newly planted shade tree can save a property owner money, provide shade in the summer and add beauty to any space.”
Each fall through early spring, Tree Montgomery will plant shade trees at single- family homes, multi-family properties and in business parking lots. Once a tree is planted, Tree Montgomery will provide after care for up to two years to help ensure its long-term survival. Shade trees grow to at least 50 feet in height and have a broad crown.
This summer, the program will also launch a new user-friendly and informative website and a marketing campaign focused on the benefits that trees bring to homes, parking lots and multi-family residences.
Tree Montgomery’s 2015 spring plantings have already been scheduled. To start planning for a fall planting, visit TreeMontgomery.org.