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Buffers? You mean those things that wax your cars?

As evi­denced by the County’s recent give-away, 2010 Trees in 2010, plant­ing trees is a high pri­or­ity for the County. What is the return on invest­ment for such a pro­gram? I’ll tell you…Trees:

- Remove car­bon diox­ide from the air and pro­duce oxygen;

- Pro­vide food and habi­tat for wildlife;

- Inter­cept water, store some of it, and reduce storm runoff and the pos­si­bil­ity of flooding;

- Poten­tially reduce energy costs by pro­vid­ing shade dur­ing hot sum­mer months (of timely impor­tance) and/or act­ing as a wind­break dur­ing colder times;

- Beau­tify a prop­erty; and

- Pro­vide privacy.

The added bonus of trees when planted in a stream buffer, as is done through the Stream ReLeaf Pro­gram, is that stream­banks can be sta­bi­lized; and sed­i­ment , nutri­ents and other pol­lu­tants can be trapped and pre­vented from enter­ing our water­ways. In fact, the tree will even use up to 80% of the phos­pho­rous and nearly 90% of the nitro­gen that it takes up, two of the biggest pol­lu­tants of the Chesa­peake Bay.

The Stream ReLeaf Pro­gram has been enabling Howard County res­i­dents to plant native trees and shrubs in stream buffers since 2003, and is now gear­ing up for the Fall 2010 plant­ing sea­son. A list of inter­ested res­i­dents has been started and addi­tional par­tic­i­pants are wel­come as well.

Since the debut of the pro­gram in 2003, Stream ReLeaf has grown from just a few par­tic­i­pants to an annual aver­age par­tic­i­pa­tion of more than two dozen res­i­dents installing approx­i­mately 1,200 native plants.

Fol­low the links below for the forms for the 2010 ReLeaf pro­gram. If you are inter­ested in par­tic­i­pat­ing in this pro­gram, please con­tact Laura A.T. Miller at ltmiller@howardcountymd.gov or 410−313−1636. If send­ing an e-mail or leav­ing a voice­mail, please include your address.

Indi­vid­ual Stream Re-Leaf Form Fall 2010

Tree List Avail­abil­ity Form Fall 2010

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Green Tip

Check your tire pressure.Increase your gas mileage by keeping your tires properly inflated.