SUMMER 2014logos


Community Updates 

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In this issue
New leadership in the county
Launch of Summer Tree Stewards and Home Tree Care 101
On the issues...updates that could affect your neighborhood

Changing of the Guard
New officials elected and selected for Planning, Parks and County Council 

The summer of 2014 will be remembered as one of the most active in terms of new county leadership in positions that will have a tremendous impact on local environmental issues. 

Planning Board Commissioner Casey Anderson was appointed by the Montgomery County Council as the new Chair of the Planning Board.  Anderson will replace departing Chair Francoise Carrier this month. Read Conservation Montgomery's interview with our new Planning Chair...

Replacing former/retired Parks Department Director Mary Bradford is 30-year veteran Mike Riley, a respected member of the community who served as Bradford's deputy at the department. Read about Mike.

And after a bruising primary election that yielded a record low voter turnout in Montgomery County, we will see two new -- but familiar -- faces on the Montgomery County Council. The two nominees for Districts 3 and 5 are Sid Katz (D-3) and Tom Hucker (D-5).  These districts were open races after the departure of Councilmember Phil Andrews (D-3) and former Councilmember Valerie Ervin (D-5) who left in January to accept a position with a New York-based nonprofit.  Read environmental position statements from Sid and Tom.

Trees please.... 

2014 Summer Tree Stewards Gear Up:  Teenagers caring for teenagers

Orientation for 2014 Summer Tree Stewards
The Conservation Montgomery 2014 Summer Tree Stewards project started on July 20th with 14 teenagers from Montgomery County Public Schools poised to earn Student Service Learning (SSL) hours over the summer.  The July 20th session was a training session to cover logistics and the summer schedule for watering, mulching and monitoring trees for deer damage.   

Twenty-five "teenage" trees (trees about six years old when harvested from local nurseries) will be watered and maintained over the summer by the students.  The trees were planted in 2012 and 2013 by Conservation Montgomery in sections of Silver Spring where tree canopy is at the lowest percentages in the entire county. Newly planted trees need TLC the first two to three years after being planted. Without water during the hottest and dryest summer months, many will not survive. students will meet with us at tree planting sites on Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. and on Sundays at 4 p.m. to care for these young trees. Find our summer schedule here. E-mail us at to join us and earn summer SSL hours.   

Conservation Montgomery Home Tree Care 101 
Program will help residents care for trees on their home lots  

CM Board member/arborist Andrea Murtha demonstrates use of a lopper to trim higher tree branches in a fall 2013 Home Tree Care 101 class.
The Montgomery County government has awarded Conservation Montgomery a generous grant to partner and set up six "Home Tree 101" classes throughout the county this coming fall and in the spring of 2015. These outdoor classes use county neighborhoods as venues for homeowners to learn how to care properly for mature trees on their home lots.  

"The right care of a tree will prolong the life of a tree and can make the tree less hazardous in storms," said CM Board Member and certified arborist Andrea Murtha. "We hope we can help homeowners know when they can prune on their own and when to call a professional, as well as learn how to plant a new tree and keep trees healthier on their property. We can call play a role in boosting our tree cover in Montgomery County." 
According to landscape architect James Urban, about 85% of the Montgomery County tree canopy is on private property such as residential and commercial lots, meaning that home tree can contribute significantly to the overall county canopy. Schedule a Home Tree Care 101 class for your civic association or community group.


Updates on Issues Affecting Neighborhoods and Natural Resources... 

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