Community Tree Planting to Improve Muddy Branch

Youth planting treesThe Audobon Naturalist Society and the city of Gaithersburg are hosting two community tree planting events as part of a $71,628 grant from the Governor’s Stream Restoration Challenge. The first tree planting is Oct. 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. behind the casey Community Center, 810 South Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg.

Participating groups include the Gaithersburg High School ESOL Student Service Learning Club, city of Gaithersburg High School Student Union, Identity, Audubon Naturalist Society, Muddy Branch Alliance, Kentlands Go Green Group and Asbury’s Beloved Community.

The grant is being used to plant five acres of trees along Muddy Branch to improve water quality on this important stream, which flows through Gaithersburg into the Potomac River. The trees and their root systems prevent erosion by stabilizing the stream bank and their shade improves the stream for wildlife. It is estimated that a total of about 600 trees will be planted in Gaithersburg, 165 of them on October 18.

Another tree planning is set to take place Nov. 1 at Malcolm King Park, 1200 W Side Drive, Gaithersburg. Lunch will be provided during both community events. Groups interested in participating in the tree planting efforts can e-mail Maura Dinwiddie at or call 301.258.6350.

This project is made possible by Maryland’s Stream Restoration Challenge, a competitive grant program open to local governments and non-government organizations to establish 1,000 acres of stream-side forests by 2015. For this challenge, the State and its partners will make available $6 million to plant forested stream buffers with the goals of improving Chesapeake Bay water quality and providing opportunities for middle and high school students to engage in service learning and environmental literacy activities.

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