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Posted on: August 1, 2019

Eagle Scout to Lead First City Tree Survey Project

Eagle Scout Tree Identification_DSC0251

The City of Hagerstown will be conducting a Street Tree Survey led by Logan Hine, an 11th grader at North Hagerstown High School and a Mason Dixon Council Eagle Scout with Troop 64 in Maugansville.  Hine has been working for the past 18 months toward earning the William T. Hornaday Silver Medal, one of scouting’s rarest and most prestigious honors tied to natural resource conservation and environmental protection.  That makes a Street Tree Survey a very natural project for him.

 

And the timing is ideal for the City of Hagerstown given that a new state law (Senate Bill 234) passed in the 2019 Legislative Session now requires local governments to submit a written plan detailing where the municipality plans to plant trees if it intends to use Forest Conservation Funds it collected from developers in lieu of the developers replanting the trees themselves. Since the City’s replanting efforts rely on that funding, the first step in satisfying the new requirements is identifying where trees can, and should be planted, and this survey will aid significantly in that process.

 

An additional benefit the Street Tree Survey will provide the City extends to the role that planting trees plays in stormwater management by filtering and slowing runoff, preventing erosion, and improving water quality—all considerations that correlate to satisfying the Maryland Department of the Environment’s mandate that necessitates treating 20-percent of Hagerstown’s impervious surfaces by 2025—and will help generate credit for the City toward meeting that estimated $23.6 million dollar requirement.

 

While Hine has already completed projects on Invasive Species, Wildlife Management, and Resource Recovery, he is embarking on this one with the understanding that its mere scope will pose a great challenge.  “I know this is going to be my toughest project.  The number of trees in the City is huge,” he stated.  Fortunately, as has been the case while completing his first three tasks, he’ll be able to tap into the experience and direction of a pair of professionals with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources: Western Region Coordinator and Urban Forester Becky Wilson and Forester Robert Schwartz.  “I’ve got great advisors who have been guiding me every step of the way,” Hine said of Wilson and Schwartz.  This will be the first Street Tree Survey the City has ever conducted.

 

Hine, and groups of volunteers he assembles, will be collecting the following data on each tree:  its location, species, diameter, approximate height, overall condition, any conflict with overhead wires, and any sidewalk damage that might exist in its immediate area.  

 

“We are very appreciative of Logan and other volunteers taking the initiative to do this labor-intensive inventorying of the street trees in Hagerstown,” City Engineer Rodney Tissue said.  “We can best manage our tree inventory once we have a complete picture of what we have.”

 

Scheduled collection dates are August 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 22, 24, 25 and September 1, 12, 14, and 15.  More dates will be added if needed prior to leaf drop in mid October.  The Street Tree Survey will be conducted within approximate four-block areas from the Square in each direction.

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