PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – May 18, 2018 – The Calvert County Department of Parks & Recreation Natural Resources Division has been named Maryland’s 2018 Calvert County Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year for its oversight of the land and tributaries at the Bennett O. Hughes Memorial Tree Farm in Prince Frederick. Through an annual award given by the Maryland Tree Farm Committee, the Calvert County division was recognized for its excellence in preserving and managing timber, wildlife, recreation, soil erosion control and water quality.

“The Calvert County Natural Resources Division was selected as the 2018 Calvert Tree Farmer of the Year due to their commitment and dedication to the wise use and management of our natural resources,” said Maryland Forest Service Forester Brian Stupak, who nominated the division. ”The Natural Resources Division is a true steward of the land, managing the forest not only for the current generation, but for generations to come.”

“I’m very proud of the work staff has done to not only responsibly manage this outstanding county asset, but to provide educational and revenue generating opportunities at this site,” said Parks & Recreation Director Shannon Nazzal. “This award is a testament to their conservation and forest management efforts.”

The farm was gifted to Calvert County by Bennett O. Hughes in 1987 for forest management and to be used for passive recreational purposes. The property is one of the few publicly owned properties in Calvert County actively managed as a tree farm and certified by the American Tree Farm System. This allows the general public to see first-hand what a timber harvest looks like, not only immediately after harvest, but over time. In 2017, the Natural Resources Division promoted forest management through a selective timber harvest of 200 trees, which generated close to $80,000 for the operation of the division.

“Effective forest management means maintaining forest land to support the diverse ecosystem and wildlife population in Calvert County,” said Natural Resources Division Chief Karyn Molines. “Forest resources can provide income to landowners while still allowing for recreational opportunities such as hiking and bird-watching.”

The American Tree Farm System is a nationwide program that encourages forest landowners to be stewards of the land and grow trees as a crop, with the added benefits of improved wildlife habitat, watershed protection, clean air, outdoor recreation and aesthetic value.

Learn more about the Calvert County Department of Parks & Recreation, Natural Resources Division, and its comprehensive program of activities and park information by visiting online at Like Calvert County Government on Facebook.