The Maryland Office wrapped up its Trees for Sacred Places planting season this November. Throughout this past Fall, 737 native trees were planted at 16 Houses of Worship and hundreds of volunteers were engaged at educational workshops. The Trees for Sacred Places program was started over 3 years ago, and has planted 11,941 trees across the state of Maryland!

The goal of the project was two-fold: not only did we set out to plant trees that will provide habitat and water quality benefits to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, but we also wanted to empower congregants to take ownership of their own properties and give them the tools necessary to make informed decisions on how they manage their own properties and where to source native plants of their own.

tfsp-planting-1The Trees for Sacred Places program provides congregations with the opportunity to educate volunteers of all ages about the importance of native vegetation and how each person can impact water quality. Many volunteers walk away from their experience with a strong commitment to impacting their watershed for the better. One congregation, Trinity United Methodist Church, asked families to come plant young trees and dedicate them to children of the congregation so that as the children grow, they can reflect on the growth of the trees. Michael Helland from Trinity said, “I wish again to thank you for this wonderful opportunity. Your group was extremely well organized and helpful…I have received many compliments from members how beautiful the entire day was for all involved, especially from families with young children.” Jack Lattimore, another congregation liaison from St. Bartholomew’s Church in Baltimore said, “I am really awed when I think of what we accomplished. Everyone who participated personally told me how special they felt to have been a part of it.”

The project will continue through 2017 with funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and will have a heavy emphasis on Prince George’s County based Houses of Worship. For more information on the program and to see if your congregation qualifies, please visit our Trees for Sacred Places webpage or contact Joanna Freeman (