17 March 2011
Detrick receives state's highest "PLANT" award
USAG Fort Detrick Environmental Management Office
Once again Fort Detrick has been recognized by the Maryland Urban & Community Forest Committee for its urban forestation program of planting and caring for trees. 
For the 11th consecutive year, Fort Detrick has met the State's criteria to receive the coveted "Green PLANT" Award. 
This award represents the highest Maryland "PLANT" honor to recognize a community that has developed a well-established urban forestry program and is reserved for programs that are funded, fully functional and staffed by qualified professionals. 
The Maryland PLANT Program was initiated in 1991 as a cooperative effort between the Maryland Community Forest Council (MCFC) and the State Forest Service.  PLANT is an acronym for (People Loving and Nurturing Trees) and is a statewide award program to recognize communities for their tree planting and tree care efforts.
The goal of the program was to help local communities step through the process of developing an on-going urban forestry program.
By reinforcing small, initial efforts, communities begin to "adopt" their local tree resources and once engaged, become invested in maintaining the health and survival of the tree canopy.
As the tasks become more complex, evolving into tree inventories and management plans, MCFC and the Forest Service can provide technical support and volunteer assistance to aid in the development of a formalized urban forestry program.
There are four PLANT award levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Green, with Green being the highest level awarded. 
With each acceptable higher award there is an incremental commitment of funds and organization to developing and maintaining an urban forestation program. 
Before PLANT was established, national programs such as Tree City USA were providing these services for incorporated communities but smaller groups and unincorporated communities were not qualified to participate.
PLANT was established to fill this gap and to encourage involvement by communities of all sizes.
During the first few years of the program, the number of participating communities grew to 30 in 1994. After program revisions in 1996, the number of PLANT communities skyrocketed from 67 in 1998 to 161 in year 2000.
But the number of participants is only half of the story. Fostering growth through the award levels is a major goal of the PLANT program. Many communities enter at the Bronze Award level and gradually intensify their efforts; others may skip one or more levels to quickly achieve the top Green Award. PLANT encourages communities to intensify their efforts at their own pace. Sustainability is encouraged.   
Fort Detrick has planted over 2000 trees. A mixture of approximately 2000, ¾ inch caliper deciduous trees and approximately 250, 8-10 foot evergreen trees have been planted as part of the Forestation Program here on post.
The installation is home to a variety of trees from Maple, Sycamore, River Birch and Oak to Thuja Green Giant Arborvitae, White Pine and Norway Spruce.
Posted by PAO

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