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The path of least resistance lures us with the promise of an easy ride. But where does it take us?

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Maryland 2021

Planting Location: 15 planting sites located in Allegany and Washington Counties, Maryland

Project Description/Objective: This project seeks to improve the water quality of the maintstem of the Chesapeake Bay by reducing non-point source pollution, namely nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended solids. To achieve this goal, we will re-establish native forests on 109 acres of private and public land in Washington and Allegany Counties, Maryland, including 10.8 acres of new riparian buffer. This project will utilize the reforestation methods and strategies identified by The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Service, and will be executed in close coordination with DNR Forest Service field staff based in Washington and Allegany Counties. A private contractor will reforest sites located on 15 properties across Allegany and Washington County, according to planting plans that have been developed by the DNR Forest Service and that are construction-ready.

Ecological Benefits: Our project's primary goal is to achieve cost-effective reductions to the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment flowing from Washington and Allegany Counties into the Chesapeake Bay. Co-benefits include the increase of forest canopy in Allegany County and Washington County and the positive impacts of young forest habitat creation on native wildlife species such as the Cerulean and Golden-winged Warbler. The establishment of riparian buffer, totaling 10.8 acres and over 9,840 linear feet of buffer, will improve local stream habitat and water quality for local aquatic species. Through reforestation on several sites, this project will also increase the carbon sequestration capacity of Allegany County and Washington County for years to come. This benefit is reinforced by signed landowner agreements which preserve project plantings for a minimum of 15 years.

This project will maximize restoration opportunities on each site by employing multiple reforestation best practices, as determined by the DNR Forest Service, for ensuring high survival rates for tree seedlings, including the use of tree shelters on 100% of suitable trees, two years of post-planting herbicide treatment at all sites, and two years of biannual mowing at Washington County sites. By taking these measures to ensure a higher rate of survival for our tree seedlings, we will maximize the pollution reduction benefits derived from this practice.

Community Benefits: This project’s inclusion of reforestation and riparian buffer practices on 38 acres of public land at the C&O Canal National Historic Park in Washington County, Fort Frederick State Park, and on three sites owned by Washington County will maximize our ability to engage with the public on the benefits of riparian buffers to water quality and aquatic life. This planting will also provide an aesthetically improved environment for the community to enjoy when visiting these public sites, providing increased opportunities for recreation and education.

Types of Trees: Various - White oak, post oak, bur oak northern red oak, black oak, pin oak, Shumard oak, bitternut hickory, mockernut hickory, shagbark hickory, American beech, sugar maple, red maple, American basswood, black cherry, black locust, black walnut, blackgum, hackberry, sassafras, sycamore, tulip polar, flowering dogwood, redbud, swamp white oak, bitternut hickory, eastern cottonwood, black willow, river birch, bald cypress, sassafras, persimmon, white pine, eastern red cedar, service berry, silver maple, pawpaw

Number of Trees Donated by Noble Oak: 16,000

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