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Planning Department to Provide Free Trees

The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is offering free trees to qualifying property owners in Montgomery County’s urban districts. The Shades of Green program, which was launched in 2012 as a pilot program, is now expanding to all urban road code areas of the County in an effort to enhance the tree canopy cover within the most impervious areas of the county.

The Shades of Green program is now offering free trees in the following areas: Germantown Center, Clarksburg Town Center, the Century Boulevard are of Germantown, and Damascus Town Center.

“This is an important program that provides residents with free trees that help enhance not only their properties but also the community as a whole,” says Environmental Planner Tina Schneider of the Planning Department. “Trees lower street and building temperatures, improve air quality, filter runoff and increase property values and quality of life.”

To participate in the Shades of Green program, property owners must comply with the following rules:

• Trees cannot be planted in street rights-of-way. Rights-of-way are publicly owned lands that typically include streets and sidewalks.

• Applicants must submit a completed online tree-planting request form.

• Planners will respond to applications within 48 hours.

• A site evaluation must be scheduled with the property owner to confirm adequacy of space and location.

To better understand Montgomery County’s existing tree canopy cover, County planners analyzed the layer of leaves and branches that cover the ground when viewed from above. High-resolution aerial imagery revealed much lower tree canopy levels in urban areas than in more suburban neighborhoods.

If your property is not within one of the eligible areas or otherwise doesn’t qualify for Shades of Green, check out other Montgomery County tree-planting programs such as the Planning Department’s Leaves for Neighborhoods program and the Department of Environmental Protection’s Tree Montgomery program.

For more information, contact planner Tina Schneider at tel. 301-495-2101 or tina.schneider@montgomeryplanning.org, and visit the Shades of Greenwebsite

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