MARYLAND — Trees are vital to a healthy community, and Cecil County boasts some beautiful woods.

But the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is aiming to further expand tree cover on public lands across the state. To this end, they are offering low-cost, beautiful trees for planting on community lands and open space.

Through their Tree-Mendous Maryland program, the department is focusing this year on offerings of high quality, native shrubs and trees. The plants, which will be available to towns, cities, non-profits, churches and other public interest groups are grown and provided by American Native Plants in Baltimore County.

They are available this season.

Trees beautify the landscape, clean and filter air and water and provide essential habitat for wildlife.

“Autumn is a great time to plant native species because shrubbery and trees can survive and thrive over the winter months,” said Maryland Forest Service Director Don VanHassent. “There is certainly affordable, attractive, and beneficial greenery for every public property and space among our diverse and robust offerings.”

DNR offiicals said that “church, civic, community, and school groups; homeowners associations; local governments; nonprofits; and others are eligible to purchase plantings from the Tree-Mendous program, as long as the shrubs and trees are planted on community and public land with prior approval from the landowner.”

In the spirit of fiscal responsibility, communities and nonprofits that order trees for their public lands can pick their trees up at several sites in October: Greenbrier State Park Oct. 17; Cedarville State Forest Oct. 22 or Tuckahoe State Park Oct. 24. “Recipients can also pick their orders up at American Native Plants in Baltimore County, which grows and provides the trees, throughout the season,” DNR officials said.

Since starting Tree-Mendous Maryland in 1989, the Maryland Forest Service has assisted more than 3,000 groups and organizations with plantings. Tens of thousands of shrubs and trees have been planted in communities, parks, schools, squares and towns across the state.

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