Volunteers plant 14 new trees in West Towson Park

About a dozen volunteers from the Green Towson Alliance, Southland Hills Improvement Association and Goucher College came out Friday afternoon to plant 14 trees on the perimeter of West Towson Park.

The Green Towson Alliance hosted the planting of native trees as part of its mission of creating a greener, healthier, more beautiful local community. The environmental advocacy group is made up of volunteers from across Towson.

”We plant native trees so it’s good for the community and good for the environment,” said spokeswoman Janet Eveleth, adding that the group has planted more than 145 trees in West Towson since its formation in 2015.

The volunteers planted scarlet maples, black tupelos and willow oaks donated by Blue Water Baltimore, a Baltimore-based nonprofit dedicated to preserving local waterways. Planting new trees helps soak up stormwater, which reduces runoff into rivers and streams, said Blue Water Baltimore employee Fred Chalfant.

Dave Edwards, of Towson, said he has participated in planting trees with the group on three occassions because he worries about urban encroachment in the area.

“It’s all concrete that way and appears to be becoming more urban and dense,” Edwards said, pointing toward downtown Towson. Planting trees “is a counterbalance.”

Charlie Conklin drove from Glen Arm to the park to volunteer. He tries to spread the message that there is work to be done by seniors if there’s any hope of preserving the environment for future generations, he said.

”We are at a tipping point in the environment,” Conklin said. “If [damage to the environment] goes past a certain point, we won’t be able to restore it.”

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, a Republican who represents Towson, worked with alliance members to get the planting approved by Baltimore County government, which operates the park.

Marks and a representative from his office helped with the planting.

“It’s important in greater Towson to expand the tree canopy in any way we can,” Marks said. “Blue Water Baltimore served as a liaison between [Green Towson Alliance] and county government to get this done. They often engage a lot of young volunteers, which helps get them interested in the environment early on.”

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