People Loving And Nurturing Trees

Kids planting a tree

The PLANT Award is recognition for communities who care for their trees. Communities of all types can receive the award— schools, HOAs, parks, local governments, government facilities, scout troops and churches, just to name a few.

Your Community is probably already at one of the four levels of the PLANT Award program. Choose the level you feel best fits your community’s activities in the last year. Over time your community can see your program grow, as your award level increases. The reviewing committee will look at your submitted documentation and then award the best fitting level!

The Maryland Urban and Community Forestry Committee of the Maryland Forestry Boards in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources sponsor this program and review the applications.

Applications and supporting documentation are due January 31, 2020. Awards will be mailed in mid-March so that you have it in time for Arbor Day celebrations in April!

Communities throughout Maryland are recognized each year, it’s time your community joins them! Show off all of your community’s hard work taking care of its trees to all who are in it and those that visit!

What does a PLANT Community look like?

Bronze – for single project activities or “one-time events” vs. ongoing program activity.

Example Activities (you only need to do one to qualify for the Bronze level):

  • Arbor Day or Earth Day event
  • Tree planting event: memorial, ceremonial, street tree, etc.
  • Informational event like tree care training or newsletter with tree information
  • Demonstration project like a beautification project or habitat creation (must involve trees)

Suggested Documentation: Copy of event program, newspaper article, photographs, etc.

Silver — for formative programs. These communities have decided to begin an Urban and Community Forestry Program and are in the preliminary stages.

Example Activities

  • Tree inventory of community—basic data has been collected, such as species type
  • Establishment of a Tree Board or Beautification/Greening Committee
  • Documented discussions or networking with community leaders about starting a tree program
  • Green School status—completing the “Natural Habitat Restoration” Project, or including trees planting/care projects

Suggested Documentation: Copy of inventory, minutes of committee meetings, list of board members, copies of green school material relevant to trees, etc.

Gold — for developmental programs. These communities are pursuing activities in addition to those at the bronze or silver level in order to improve the overall health of their urban and community forest (your community’s trees!).

Example Activities

  • Tree related ordinances, regulations, or public policy that affects your urban and community forest
  • Tree inventory in detailed data that has been analyzed and used to recommend future actions related to items such as tree planting, maintenance, removal, pest management, etc.
  • Management plan that references your urban and community forest
  • Funding sources

Suggested Documentation: Copy of ordinance, inventory, management plan, policy or regulations, proof of funding, etc. 

Green – for sustained programs. These are organized, fully functional programs which are funded and have full-time equivalent technical assistance. They have continuity, planning, support and a budget.

Example Activities

  • Activities that quality for GOLD level plus: - Sufficient project-dedicated technical assistance (in-house, contract, volunteer) in the form of an arborist, horticulturalist, forester or other professional - and funding through donations, in-kind services, taxes grants or otherwise.
  • TreeCity USA or TreeCampus recognition AUTOMATICALLY qualifies as Green level (please provide only a copy of the one-page print out that shows you have submitted your 2017 application)

Suggested Documentation: Copy of ordinance, inventory, management plan, policy or regulations, proof of funding, etc. PLUS budget and position of those assisting. TreeCity USA or TreeCampus proof of application.

Applications and supporting documentation should be sent to:
Tawes State Office Building, E-1​
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401

More Questions?
Contact: Ryan Mayenschein
Phone: 410-260-8510

The History of the PLANT Program

The Maryland PLANT Program was established in 1991 as a cooperative effort between the Maryland Community Forest Council (MCFC) and the Maryland Forest Service. The goal of the program was to help local communities develop an on-going urban forestry program. By reinforcing small, initial efforts, communities begin to use their local tree resources more and more. Over time communities become invested in and begin work harder on maintaining the health and survival of their urban tree canopy.

National programs such as Tree City USA provide 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 in Maryland.