by Stephanie Smith
June 30, 2017
Danielle French, right, and Roanin Cabrera plant a tree at Deerfield Village outside of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, at an event on April 29, 2017. Adult and youth volunteers planted 28 trees as part of the Carla Hardy West Virginia Project CommuniTree program.
CommuniTree is an initiative of the Cacapon Institute—a watershed protection organization located in Great Cacapon, West Virginia—and is the largest tree steward program in the state. The purely-volunteer program promotes tree planting and education on the public lands that surround the headwaters of the Potomac River.
This spring’s tree planting event marked the fourth one held at Deerfield Village, following plantings in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Of the 72 trees planted during those prior events, 60 have survived to provide clean air, shade and other benefits to their communities. This year, volunteers planted 12 trees to replace those that had failed to establish, as well as 16 new trees as part of an old apple orchard.
Trees are a critical piece of a healthy ecosystem: they soak up polluted stormwater, provide habitat for wildlife, absorb and trap air pollution and enhance quality of life for local communities. That’s why Chesapeake Bay Program partners have committed to expanding tree canopy in urban areas by 2,400 acres by 2025, providing air quality, water quality and habitat benefits throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.