The Creek ReLeaf program is helping to plant trees and improve water quality in Frederick County, Maryland. Frederick County’s Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources started the Creek Re-Leaf program in 2017 as a way to improve water quality and meet pollution reduction requirements of the County’s MS4 permit requirements under the federal Clean Water Act. The program helps support reforestation, including riparian buffer plantings, by covering the costs of putting land under a permanent reforestation easement. The program also provides free native trees and shrubs and five years of maintenance, which is critical for ensuring the trees don’t get overrun by weeds while they are getting established.
This voluntary program plants 350 trees per acre using a mix of native species. Although the easement is permanent, landowners are still able to use the land for recreation and selective logging as long as they maintain 100 tree per acre and have any needed management plans in place. In 2017, the program planted 43.8 acres of public land and 120 acres of private land. In the past year, Creek ReLeaf has planted an additional 200 acres.
For more information, please visit the Creek ReLeaf website or contact the Creek ReLeaf Program Manager, Jeremy Joiner at 301-600-1350.