The weather was perfect for the festivities at Terrapin Park. Girl Scout Troops from all over the region worked hard planting seedlings in the morning and in the afternoon they planted a 2 inch white oak tree in celebration of this special Arbor Day.
The director of Queen Anne's County Parks and Recreation Steve Davis delivered the opening of the Arbor Day Ceremony.
Queen Anne's County Commissioner Joe Cupani spoke on the importance of Arbor Day to everyone.
A member of the Girl Scout Chesapeake Troop 866 read aloud a poem celebrating the importance of trees and forests. Everyone enjoyed the endearing words. Steve Davis rewarded her hard work and excellent presentation by presenting her with a shirt from the Arbor Day Foundation featuring a "Plant a Tree Today for Tomorrow" logo.
Queen Anne's County Forestry Board Chairman Marshall Klinefelter spoke about the evolution of the Maryland Forest Service. The Maryland Forest Service had its official beginning as the State Board of Forestry 100 years ago this month when Governor Edwin Warfield signed into law the 1906 Forestry Conservation act. Maryland was the third state in the country to initiate a forest conservation program introducing scientific forestry management statewide on both public and private land. In the 1900's Maryland forests were suffering from exploitation as a result of over harvesting and poor management practices and consisted mostly of stumps, seedlings, and saplings. A century of dedicated, charismatic and influential forest conservation leaders have worked tirelessly to develop landmark forest and service programs to recover our state and private forest lands. Today, Maryland is 41 % forested, with 136,000 landowners holding 2.4 million acres, making the resource 76% privately owned. The state's forest products industry employs over 14,000 people and contributes some $2.2 billion annually to the states economy.
In Queen Anne’s county alone, the Maryland Forest Service’s has planted over 1,000 acres of riparian forest buffers over the past decade.
The Queen Anne’s County Forestry Board, established by the Forest Conservancy District act of 1943 and consisting of volunteers who are interested in forest conservation, partners with the Maryland Forest Service as a forestry advocate in promoting good forest stewardship practices, conducting timber harvest reviews in conservation areas, helping with tree plantings in the county, and providing educational workshops & seminars on a variety of forestry topics for the public.
Teri Batchelor from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service educated the audience about the history of the white oak tree in Maryland and the importance of trees in our daily lives. She handed out a variety of saplings to everyone. Every tree planted puts us closer to a greener tomorrow.
Queen Anne's County Commissioner Benjamin Cassell read the Arbor Day Proclamation marking the 100th Anniversary of Forest and Park Conservation in Maryland
Teri Batchelor thanked the Queen Anne's County Commissioners for their partnering with the Queen Anne's County Forestry Board and their help in educating everyone on the importance of proper forest management. When we see a forest management project underway some people's first reaction is that they are destroying the environment. Whereas the opposite is true. Forest management practices continues the cycle of renewal which is so important to the health of the forest and the environment.
The Ceremony was wrapped up by the planting of the 2 inch white oak tree donated by Tree-Mendous Maryland on behalf of the Queen Anne's County Forest Conservancy District Board and that this is being done in each of Md.'s 23 counties + Balt. City on behalf of each of the respective Co. Forestry Boards and was grown locally at the Roseland Nurseries. The girl Scouts shoveled the dirt in the hole and tamped it in in layers and watered the ground around the ball of the tree and topped it off with a dozen or so purple pansies. What a beautiful site.