Creek Releaf – Reforesting Frederick County

Frederick County's Creek ReLeaf Program is a multi-year reforestation program geared towards replanting trees on both private and public lands to provide stormwater control, reduce temperature impacts on County streams, and provide credit towards the County's stormwater permit. Landowners who participating in the Creek ReLeaf program help make a lasting impact on local stream and watershed health by reducing pollution and enhancing wildlife habitat.

The program pays for a permanent conservation easement in the area of the property determined by the land owner. Conservation easements are legal agreements between a landowner and a local government or land trust that permanently limit certain uses of the land to protect the conservation values. The landowner still owns and retains use of the land under easement as long as the use does not violate the terms of the easement. The easement is permanent and conveys with sale or inheritance of the land. Reforestation will not be allowed in existing easements such as water, sewer, power lines, etc., existing or proposed septic fields and existing agricultural easements where conflict may occur.

There is currently a 2 acre minimum plantable area for a property to apply and the easement payment is 75% of the fair market value of the land. The County also pays for all pre-planting maintenance needed, all of the trees (350 per acre), and the first 5 years of maintenance for the new forest which includes mowing, tube and tree straightening and spot herbicide spraying to control invasives.

The Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources is currently accepting applications for the Creek ReLeaf program through October 31, 2019. Applications can be found online at For more information contact Program Manager Jeremy Joiner at 301-600-1350 or at

Why Public Health Researchers Are Looking to Urban Trees

A global study finds trees can help cool cities and reduce air pollution—for less money than high-tech answers. To read more visit the article in the Smithsonian Magazine link: Why Public Health Researchers Are Looking to Urban Trees

‘Ticket To Ride’ Grant To Bring Local Students Into Park

Responding to an overwhelming need for transportation and educational programming funding from parks and schools nationwide, the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, created the Ticket To Ride program. With support from Disney, Ticket to Ride provides financial resources for transportation, in-park educational programming, and meals that make national park field trips possible for schools across the country. This year, Catoctin Mountain Park was selected to receive a Ticket to Ride grant in order to bring 550 students to Catoctin Mountain Park. Nationwide, over $230,000 in Ticket to Ride grants will make it possible for more than 30,000 students to experience their local national park this fall.

At Catoctin, high school students, selected by their teachers for capability and enthusiasm, will assist Park Rangers and volunteers guiding middle school and younger students on explorations focused on human impact on water quality and other topics relevant to that group’s science curriculum. Partner schools will bring urban and rural students from multiple counties, providing the first National Park visit for a large percentage of students, all of whom live within 35 miles of the park. Sadly, there is no public transportation in the area, so many may not have the means to make return visits to Catoctin, increasing the importance and impact of this journey


- News release

20200217 - TREES ARE OH SO SWEET.pdf

WTOP - The Gardening Plot

Garden Plot: Get ‘sappy’ at the Frederick Maple Syrup Fest

Mike McGrath

March 6, 2020, 7:54 AM

‘Tis the season for trees that are sweet — or at least trees whose sap is sweet. To celebrate that sap, the Frederick County, Maryland, Forestry Board invites visitors to learn how maple syrup is made during their 50th anniversary Maple Syrup Festival at Cunningham Falls State Park, just west of Thurmond.

As the Forestry Board explains, “deciduous trees shed their leaves in the fall and begin storing energy in their root system in the form of starch.” The following spring, these starches are converted into sugars and move up into the ‘sapwood’ of the tree on their eventual journey to the canopy, according to the Forestry Board. In some trees, especially sugar maple, this sap has a high sugar content, and is collected and boiled down to produce maple syrup, they said.

The Forestry Board will celebrate this annual running of the sap on Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15, and the following weekend, March 21 and 22, at Cunningham Falls State Park with demonstrations of tree tapping and, of course, maple syrup tastings.

And you get to visit the tallest cascading waterfall in all of Maryland. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day and admission is $3 in cash per person.

Boxelder syrup? Who knew?

The Frederick County Forestry Board added this interesting bit of trivia to their release about the upcoming maple syrup festivals: “Over the years, additional tree varieties have been tapped for syrup, creating a booming niche market. Black walnut, butternut, sweet birch, sycamore, red maple, hickory, black maple and boxelder trees are being tapped for syrup, providing a wide array of flavors for all of us pancake lovers.”