The Town of Bel Air is looking to increase its Urban Tree Canopy by planting more trees in public rights of way, and residents are welcome to play a role in those plantings.
About 70% of publicly maintained rights of way in town are canopy free. Not all rights of way are suitable for planting trees, however. Some are too narrow, while others have utilities underground or wires overhead.
Spaces along residential streets that are at least 4 feet wide are good candidates for planting, should residents desire a tree near their property. Anyone interested in participating should contact the Planning Department at 410-638-4540 for more information. The program is free of charge for residents.
Town staff will review potential sites for any under or above-ground obstructions and determine if they are good for planting. The trees will be planted this fall, with another batch slated for next spring.
The town’s volunteer Tree Committee is coordinating this program. Committee members analyzed the local tree canopy in 2014 and developed several methods of increasing it, including planting in residential rights of way.
Increasing the tree canopy will help the environment by improving air quality, as well as reducing heat and stormwater runoff, according to Senior Planner Rowan Glidden.
Multiple species of tree are available, including native and non-native trees, such as the Eastern Redbud, Yoshino Cherry and London Planetree. The town will purchase the trees – using funds collected through the Forest Conservation fee-in-lieu paid by developers – once requests are made and staff determine the sites in the public rights of way are suitable, according to Glidden.
Contact Media and Public Relations Specialist David Anderson at 410-688-3020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.