Howard County’s Office of Community Sustainability (OCS) and Department of Recreation & Parks (HCRP) have received a 2020 Innovative Nutrient & Sediment Reduction Grant by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Part of the larger Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, the nearly $1 million ($999,202) grant award will help the regional “Planting the Future” initiative by funding a full-time Restoration Coordinator for a 30-month period in Howard County. Organized by the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition, of which OCS is a member, the “Planting the Future” initiative is designed to triple tree planting numbers over three years in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County. The initiative also assists the Coalition with increasing its capacity to serve as a primary resource and impact multiplier in the effort to create a robust green infrastructure network across Central Maryland.

The grant will also allow Howard County Recreation & Parks (HCRP) to ramp up its existing programs, such as its Stream ReLeaf and Turf to Trees programs, increasing the number of trees planted per year through these programs from 2,500 to at least 7,500.

“Howard County Recreation & Parks enjoys working with the Office of Community Sustainability on many of these collaborative green efforts, including our upcoming giveaway of 2,020 trees on September 24 and 26,” stated HCRP Director Raul Delerme. “Our naturalists are ready and eager to help as the county begins to carry out these projects on an even greater scale.”