Group Making a Lasting and Positive Impact on Community
Students from Fort Hill High School’s Ecology Club and environmental science classes, in cooperation with students from Washington Middle School, recently participated in native tree plantings as part of Cumberland’s Urban Tree Canopy Initiative. These plantings were part of an on-going partnership between the Cumberland Shade Tree Commission and Fort Hill High School.
On Wednesday, October 14, 2009, members of Fort Hill’s Ecology Club partnered with students from Washington Middle School to plant 60 trees on the Washington Middle School campus. The following week on October 21, 2009, students from Mac Sloan’s environmental science classes planted ten trees on the Fort Hill campus. The final tree planting was held on Tuesday, November 10, 2009, at Constitution Park, where members of the Ecology Club once again helped to plant fifteen trees.
All of these plantings were part of the Cumberland Shade Tree Commission’s goal to plant city properties and cooperating landowners with native trees. The environmental benefits of planting native trees are numerous. These trees can increase the habitat for local wildlife, reduce storm water runoff, and reduce the “heat island” experienced by urban areas during the summer.
This project involved collaboration between the Allegany County Board of Education, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Rocky Gap State Park, Chesapeake Bay Trust, George’s Creek Watershed Association, and the City of Cumberland, and illustrated how a small group of environmentally conscious citizens can help make a lasting and positive impact on the community in which they reside.
The tree plantings would not have been possible without the tireless dedication of City of Cumberland employee, Paul Eriksson; Becky Wilson, Department of Natural Resources; Sarah Milbourne, Rocky Gap State Park; and Fort Hill Ecology Club members Ryan Warnick, Michael Crabtree, Crystal Phillips, Danny Beard, Tyler Cage, Jacob Davis, Breanna Creamer, Brady Barnhardt, and Corey Thomas.