County Executive Johnny Olszewski celebrated Arbor Day on April 26 with Shady Spring Elementary School students and staff, planting trees to complete a 2.5-acre reforestation project that surrounds the schoolyard with native trees.
“Trees are critical infrastructure for our communities and for our environment, and it makes perfect sense for us to replace underutilized lawn space in schoolyards with forested acreage that reduces air pollution, absorbs stormwater and provides shade to help cut energy costs,” said Olszewski. “We appreciate our partners in the school system for helping us make a difference that will span generations.”
The Shady Spring Elementary School project is a 2.5-acre native tree planting along the perimeter of the school property. Students had the opportunity to plant and monitor the newly planted trees, meeting several Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards and Maryland Green School objectives.
The project is a result of a partnership between the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) and BCPS’ Office of Science, called Comprehensive Landscape Improvement Projects. Since 2014, they have reforested 39 acres and planted 196 landscape-style trees at 37 schools.
EPS’ approach to planting on school property focuses on planting trees on underutilized school lawns to increase the County’s tree canopy and reduce BCPS’ long-term mowing costs. In addition to these plantings, EPS also planted 957 native shade trees from 2011 through 2012 at 46 County schools and other facilities under EPS’ Cool Trees program.