The Brightside: Becoming 1st Tree City USA County


SOMERSET CO., Md. –  Somerset County is on it’s way to becoming the first Tree City USA county in Maryland.

“We don’t have any counties that are TreeCity USA,” explains Marian Honeczy, from Maryland Forest Service.

But Somerset County is well on it’s way to changing that.

Somerset County Commissioner Craig Mathies says, “Somerset County now has the opportunity to become a TreeCity member member which is very significant in regards to our deep love and care for nature and preserving our natural environment.”

The county is making major strides to protect their environment. They have to since the county is building a new technical high school, trails, and improvements to their airport.

Honeczy adds, “Somerset County requested some help with their mitigation planting which is behind the school here. The mitigation planting was required under Forest Conservation Act.”

The County is getting reinforcements from the professionals and a group of kids eager to plant some trees.

Cole Miles, a 6th grader at Somerset Intermediate, says, “Me and a bunch of people from the Young Environmentalist Club and Green Engineers came here outside of our school and planted these trees so we could help be environmentally friendly with our community and our school.”

A task that was easier for some than others.

Clinton Lankford, another Somerset Intermediate sixth grader explains, “It was a little difficult getting our tree planted in the ground we had some issues. We had to put it on the ground roll it around a bit kick it out and then we finally get it out.”

The good news is that it doesn’t matter whether it was difficult or not, because planting trees made Somerset County one step closer to becoming a TreeCity USA member.

Mathies adds, “Anything we can do to protect our environment means so much and the planting of these trees is just an example of how we’re getting the students involved and they are taking the initiative to be good stewards over the environment.”

It’s a move many hope others will follow.

“I’m hoping some of the other counties get excited about this and kind of a little rivalry starts between them,” explains Honeczy.

Mathies says, “I do think it will inspire other counties on the Eastern Shore and throughout perhaps the state of Maryland to take more of an initiative in being environmentally friendly getting our youth involved because they’re our future.”

Categories: Brightside, Check It Out, Local News, Maryland