Celebration Branches into State’s Highest Offices
Today is Maryland Arbor Day, celebrated the first Wednesday of April every year. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is highlighting the importance of trees by delivering seedlings to Maryland’s elected officials and leaders, and honoring the achievements of individuals who have contributed to the state’s tree farming industry.
Following an annual tradition, Maryland Forest Service staff delivered potted red bud seedlings to Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp this morning before the Board of Public Works meeting.
“Arbor Day is celebrated nationally and by every state in the nation, with the date designated by each state according to the best time to plant trees,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton explained to the board. “In Maryland, the General Assembly additionally picked a date in early April so Arbor Day would occur during session. Perhaps as a nod to that, every Arbor Day we sneak tree seedlings into the chairs of this elected officials before they start work that day.”
Belton added that Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan also received a seedling at her office, in appreciation for her helping judge this year’s Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest.
The Maryland Tree Farm Committee assisted with Arbor Day activities at the Maryland General Assembly.
Sean Weaver of the Maryland Forest Service in Frederick County was honored as Tree Farm Inspector of the Year, with a resolution presented by Del. Kathryn Afzali.
Jim and Linda Culp, owners of Culp Tree Farms in Worcester County, were honored as Tree Farmers of the Year, with a resolution presented by Sen. Stephen Hershey and Sen. James Mathias.
Throughout the month, the department and local partners will participate in dozens of community activities and events that will help plant thousands of trees across the state.
One of our most popular programs to plant trees is Backyard Buffers, which provides free seedlings for owners of waterfront properties. This year an estimated 12,000 seedlings of native shrubs and trees will be delivered to targeted counties to reduce the amount of sediment, fertilizer and toxic materials that enter our waterways.