Earth Day tree planting event in Wardensville, W.Va., on April 22, 2018. Nearly 80 volunteers helped plant 100 fruit and nut-bearing trees, as well as 50 additional trees and edible shrubs. The trees will provide a riparian buffer between the 100-acre farm and the Cacapon River. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay teamed up with partners from across the watershed to plant over 87,000 trees in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia this spring! Our innovative forest programs improve the health of existing trees and forests, create new forests in places important to water quality and to watershed residents, and promote the benefits of forests to the public and decision-makers  – essentially, we “help forests help us.”

Below are  some of the creative partnerships and approaches we took to  put trees in the ground this spring:

The Healthy Forests Healthy Waters program is a collaborative tree planting initiative between the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the Maryland Forest Service, the Maryland Forestry Foundation, and private landowners throughout the Maryland. The program provides participating landowners with a free, turnkey tree planting project of an acre or more on open land that they want to convert into a forest. Landowners agree to maintain this new forest for at least ten years. The program is supported by a grant through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Chesapeake and Coastal Bays Trust Fund as an innovative approach to reduce the amounts of nutrients and sediments entering our waterways.
2018 by-the-numbers: 56,320 trees or 128 acres of forests planted, projects in 9 counties, 35 landowners served.

The Healthy Streams Farm Stewardship program is about accelerating the establishment of riparian forest buffers on private agricultural lands by leveraging private foundation investment in whole farm conservation with public natural resources conservation funding. This program is supported by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and is done in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Maryland Forest Service, and Maryland’s Soil Conservation Districts.
2018 by-the-numbers: 8,932 trees or 20.3 acres of riparian forest buffer planted.

The Corcoran Tract Forest Restoration project is a collaborative, multi-year initiative to restore the upland and bottomland forests at the Corcoran Environmental Study Area. This 215-acre forested property, which is commonly referred to as “Corcoran Woods”, is owned and operated by the Maryland Park Service as part of Sandy Point State Park. Project partners include Maryland Forest Service, Maryland Chesapeake and Coastal Service, and Sandy Point State Park.
2018 by-the-numbers: 9,240 trees planted on 20+ acres.

(Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)

The Multi-Functional Buffer project in Pennsylvania works with the Plain Sect community to educate their  agricultural producers on how certain farming practices affect local streams and rivers. A multi-functional buffer is more than a tool for improved water quality: Many of the tree and shrubs planted along streams will provide farmers with a marketable product like nuts and fruit, as well as serve as pollinator habitat. The project is supported with a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources 
2018 by-the-numbers: 2,360 trees planted.

Our West Virginia Watershed Forester, Holly May, supports our local partners in the CREP Riparian Forest Buffer initiative based in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. Holly works to plant and promote trees, and  increase the number of trees on the landscape, especially riparian forests and acres of riparian forest buffers. This spring she worked with a variety of partners from National Resources Conservation Service, Farm Services Agency, West Virginia Division of Forestry, the Cacapon Institute, and the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust.
2018 by-the-numbers: 4,241  trees planted.

The Alliance thanks our many partners for their support and collaboration. Without you we could not have accomplished this huge success!

To learn more about our efforts around Chesapeake forests, visit our program page or subscribe to our Forests for the Bay newsletter.