Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Program

Healthy Forests, Healthy Waters

Reforesting private lands to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution to the Chesapeake Bay

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 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.

We completed five DNR Trust Fund funding grants from 2014 – 2020 to establish forest cover (1+ acre) on open private lands, resulting in 555 acres of new woodlands planted on 140 parcels of land. In summer 2020, we received a new DNR Trust Fund Grant to plant an additional 208 acres on 37 private land parcels.