Earlier this spring, MDE unveiled a Tree Planting Tracking Tool to help counties with the state’s Five Million Trees Plan.
As part of a statewide effort to plant five million trees by 2031, earlier this spring, MDE released a Tree Planting Tracking Tool aimed at helping counties and other stakeholders. The website includes eligible tree planting programs, tree care resources, and more information about how the Five Million Trees initiative advances various environmental and socio-economic goals. Using the tracking tool, agencies, private organizations, and individuals can register and mark the location of their plantings, and “get counted” as part of the statewide target.
Users can map plantings of up to 10 trees by marking a point on a map. Plantings of over ten trees can be added by drawing a polygon to show the area they are planted. This data will be used to measure progress toward environmental benefits, such as improved air quality and carbon sequestration, ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions known to contribute to climate change.
About the Five Million Trees Plan
The Five Million Tree Plan was developed by the Maryland Commission for the Innovation and Advancement of Carbon Markets and Sustainable Tree Plantings (Commission). The Maryland General Assembly established the Commission with the Tree Solutions Now Act of 2021, a bill that MACo ultimately supported. The initiative builds upon the existing state and county investments in climate action, ecosystem restoration and forest management.
According to the plan,
The Growing 5 Million Trees in Maryland Plan provides a roadmap that builds on Maryland’s existing investments in climate action, ecosystem restoration, and forest management. The Commission for Innovation and Advancement of Carbon Markets and Sustainable Tree Plantings provided invaluable guidance for the planning process….
The plan uses best-available science to track and verify environmental outcomes to maximize the many benefits that trees provide, including carbon sequestration, reduced flooding, improved air and water quality, and reduced heat islands. While prioritizing co-benefits, the work of the Commission identified new opportunities to support local economies with a focus on workforce development to maintain forests and urban trees, industries that manufacture climate-smart forestry products, and effective engagement with carbon markets.