Congregation members planting at a sappling outside their house of worship

Trees for Sacred Places is proud to announce that we have planted 10,901 trees as part of the Maryland Governors Stream Buffer Challenge. Originally called 10,000 Trees when this project was begun in 2013, Trees for Sacred Places engages houses of worship across Maryland to help increase forest stream buffers and urban tree Canopies. Over the past two years, 45 congregations and schools have participated in this project which also provides opportunities to educate a large and diverse regional group of Chesapeake Bay residents in the restoration process of the Chesapeake watershed. Through Trees for Sacred Places, each congregation receives free trees for planting as well as two workshops, one on the importance of native trees to the environment and one on the sacred importance of trees.The goal of the Trees for Sacred Places is two-fold – to plant trees to provide habitat and water quality benefits to the Chesapeake Bay watershed ecosystem, and to empower congregants to become environmental stewards of their own properties and provide them with the tools necessary to make informed decisions on property management including good source for native plants.

“My whole family recently participated in our congregation’s Trees for Sacred Places tree planting. It was a wonderfully fulfilling experience for us all. At the end of the event one of our young congregants bounded up to me and said “We should plant more trees!” As IPC’s Congregational Outreach Coordinator, I am always on the lookout for more congregations to sign up so I couldn’t agree more!” stated Bonnie Sorak.

The project will continue through 2017 with funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, with a strong focus on expanding work with faith congregations in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. For more information about the Trees for Sacred Places program, please contact Joanna Freeman at