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Community Park tree planting

Danielle Ryan

(11/22) The Town of Thurmont celebrated Arbor Day on November 5 by beginning phase one of a two-phase project to plant trees in Community Park.

Unfortunately, Emerald Ash Borers have been found in Community Park, which has led to the death of many ash trees. Emerald Ash Borers are small green beetles that prey on Ash trees, eating and destroying layers within the tree that are solely responsible for transferring nutrients and water throughout the tree.

Thurmont staff members have been aware of the presence of Emerald Ash Borers and have been proactive about the situation, setting aside funds for a tree planting, in case existing trees in the park would need to be taken down. Eighteen trees have been taken out thus far, and another forty-six have been treated, in an effort to save as many trees as possible without having to remove them completely.

Within the past few months, Jim Humerick, the town’s Chief Administrative Officer, received a $1,500 grant through the Maryland Urban and Community Forestry Committee and he was also able to create a partnership with the Department of Natural Resources. The partnership with DCNR has resulted in the donation of $2,000 towards the tree-planting project.

The first phase of the tree-planting project included planting twenty-five trees in Community Park. In the spring, an additional thirty-eight trees will be planted. All the trees selected and planted will be 5’ – 8’ native trees, and the species selected will provide the park with a little more color during the different seasons of the year. On November 5, a group of volunteers were assembled to plant trees in the front part of the park. Humerick mentioned the desire to preserve the view of the park, trying to focus on the aesthetics, as many of the trees toward the front were taken out, but the newly planted trees would eventually grow to take over.

This project will make Thurmont eligible to become a Tree City USA Community, and it is also a criterion that contributes to the State of Maryland Recertification that will take place in three years.

Thurmont will be celebrating a second Arbor Day in the spring and will be doing a second planting at that time. They will be looking for volunteers from the community to come out and help with the second planting as well.

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