Successful forest stewardship requires creating new wooded areas through tree plantings, as well as caring for established forests through ongoing tree and trail maintenance. Each year, the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy organizes tree planting events where nearly one thousand volunteers plant saplings that are carefully monitored and maintained for a minimum of three to five years. Monitoring includes removing invasive plants and checking tree shelters.
With the help of 10,000 volunteers, the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy has successfully planted over 30,000 trees on 180 acres of land in the Gunpowder watershed.
Trees and forests are essential to healthy ecosystems as they reduce stormwater runoff by capturing and storing rainfall in the canopy and releasing water into the atmosphere. Tree roots and leaf litter create soil conditions that promote the infiltration of rainwater into the soil, helping to replenish our groundwater supply and maintain streamflow during dry periods.
Benefits of Tree Planting
- Diverts stormwater runoff
- Decreases erosion and stabilizes streambanks
- Controls invasive plants
- Improves air quality
- Provides habitat for wildlife
- Increases property values
Newly planted trees need TLC to survive. Spend a couple hours to help young trees grow into a healthy forest.
Tree maintenance involves removing invasive plants, checking planted trees to see if the shelter needs to be removed and removing if necessary, digging out the planting tube, and making sure the plant is upright. It can be physically demanding, but also very rewarding!
This is a perfect volunteer opportunity for high school and college students, as well as corporate volunteer groups. There is some flexibility to schedule tree maintenance work events on a weekday.
For information on tree maintenance activities, please contact Kim Peabody, Tree Maintenance Coordinator.
"He loved it and wanted to come back."
~ Tracy Zubrinitz on bringing her eight-year old son to his second Gunpowder Valley Conservancy tree planting