Young Conservationists Celebrate Arbor Day by Planting 400 Trees Along Frederick County Creek

Today, in celebration of Arbor Day, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) hosted roughly 40 members of the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s Chesapeake Conservation and Climate Corps to plant 400 trees along Catoctin Creek at Summer’s Hill Farm in Jefferson, Maryland.

Planting trees around waterways like Catoctin Creek can help slow down and absorb runoff from storms, supporting the health of our streams, rivers, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Trees also provide critical habitat and cool water temperatures for aquatic life. Catoctin Creek supports cold-water fisheries, including rainbow trout and brown trout, which prefer cool, clear streams. However, climate change and rising water temperatures have made these ideal habitats scarce.

“Restoring forested buffers along streams on agricultural lands is one of the most effective methods to reduce pollution entering waterways and improve fish and wildlife habitat,” said Rob Schnabel, Watershed Restoration Scientist at CBF. “Our goal is to plant roughly 19 acres of forestland at Summer’s Hill Farm. The Corps members participating in today’s event represent the future of Chesapeake Bay restoration. We’re grateful for their dedication, not just today but in their careers.”

The Chesapeake Bay Trust’s Chesapeake Conservation and Climate Corps program increases access and opportunities for young environmentalists seeking green careers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Corps places individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 with nonprofit or government agencies for a one-year term of service.

“The Chesapeake Conservation and Climate Corps is a huge part of our movement to grow the next generation of Bay stewards,” shared Jana Davis, Ph.D., president of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “By connecting aspiring environmentalists to hands-on experience, leadership training, and networking in green careers, we ensure more conservation and climate advocates enter the workforce committed to the health of our natural resources and communities for years beyond their Corps service.”

Kayla Brennan is a member of the Corps and has spent her term supporting the Chesapeake Bay Foundation through science and agriculture stewardship.

“My time in the Corps and working with CBF has given me hands-on experience restoring and protecting our natural resources,” Brennan said. “My goal is to pursue a career in agriculture or a related field focused on environmental restoration.”

This was one of several CBF-led tree planting events at Summer’s Hill Farm this spring. The farm has over two miles of Catoctin Creek frontage. There will be a public tree planting event the following day on Saturday, April 27, which will complete the 19-acre forested stream buffer goal.

With funding from the Maryland Department of Agriculture Conservation Buffer Initiative, the farm will gain 19 acres of new forestland, creating a 100-foot buffer around Catoctin Creek. The program also provides maintenance support for the buffer five years after it’s been planted, as well as financial support for the landowners. The landowners are working with Frederick County’s Office of Agriculture to put the farm in a permanent agriculture easement for future generations and to protect it from development.

The native trees for this project were provided by CBF’s Clagett Farm, a working farm in Prince George’s County that uses regenerative agriculture practices to improve soil health and water quality.


Valerie Keefer

Maryland Communications & Media Relations Manager, CBF

[email protected]

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