This fall, the community of Towson Manor Village, shown here, will plant 40 trees in the neighborhood with the help of a $5,000 payment from Evergreene Homes, the developer of nearby Towson Mews.
This fall, the community of Towson Manor Village, shown here, will plant 40 trees in the neighborhood with the help of a $5,000 payment from Evergreene Homes, the developer of nearby Towson Mews. (Rachael Pacella / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

As part of its construction of Towson Mews, a 34-townhouse project in East Towson, Developer Evergreene Homes has contributed $5,000 to plant trees in nearby Towson Manor Village this fall.

Evergreene broke ground on Towson Mews in April.

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Last week, a check for $5,000 made its way to Blue Water Baltimore, a nonprofit organization that will work with members of the Towson Manor Village Community Association to plant about 40 trees in the neighborhood.

"I think it's a neighborhood that definitely needs some green space," Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, a Republican who represents Towson, said Sept. 9.

As part of the developer's planned unit development agreement for the Towson Mews project, which allowed it to build outside of zoning standards by providing a community benefit, Evergreene Homes agreed to donate $25,000 to NeighborSpace of Baltimore County to improve land in the East Towson area, Marks said. NeighborSpace received that money from the developer in June.

NeighborSpace is a nonprofit that "works with community partners to protect and improve land for parks, gardens, trails and natural areas" in urban parts of Baltimore County, according to the group's website. NeighborSpace is using $20,000 of the Evergreene donation to pay for the planting of a woodland garden and other improvements to Adelaide Bentley Park, in East Towson.

The other $5,000 is for the tree plantings in Towson Manor Village, according to Marks. NeighborSpace held onto that money until the community association had a plan in place for the plantings, according to NeighborSpace Executive Director Barbara Hopkins.

Towson Manor Village Community Association President Joe La Bella is working with the Baltimore City-based Blue Water Baltimore, a nonprofit with the goal of restoring "the quality of Baltimore's rivers, streams and harbor," to identity residents in the neighborhood who would like to add a tree to their yard. The community has worked in the past with Blue Water Baltimore to plant trees in Towson Manor Village.

About 40 trees will be planted in the neighborhood in late October or early November, La Bella said.

"This will just really help to make our community a healthier, more beautiful place," he added.

This spring and last fall, Towson Manor Village held similar community plantings with Blue Water Baltimore, adding 30 trees to the neighborhood; trees planted along the street were free to the community, while trees planted in private yards cost residents $50 each. This fall's planting will be larger in scope and the service will be free thanks to the money from Evergreene Homes, La Bella said.

For the most part the group will plant canopy trees, which provide shade, cool streets and reduce air pollutants, according to Blue Water Baltimore officials. Some smaller trees will also be planted.

Towson Manor Village has a lot of power lines and sidewalks compared to other neighborhoods, so most of the trees will be planted in private yards, said Darin Crew, Blue Water Baltimore's manager of forestry and restoration.

The types of trees to be planted could include flowering dogwood, hornbeam, redbud, serviceberry, sweetbay magnolia, American elm, bald cypress, black gum, hackberry, northern red oak, river birch, sassafras, swamp white oak, white pine and willow oak.

One of the goals of the planting is to build a love for trees in the community, Crew said.

"It improves neighborhoods, improves water quality," Crew said. "It makes neighborhoods prettier, more livable."

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Plantings also provide an opportunity for Blue Water Baltimore to recruit new volunteers, who may donate their time to other projects.

"We plant with volunteers because we want to strengthen neighborhoods, and strengthen resiliency to climate change," Crew said. "It's one of our gateway activities."

Crew added that Marks was instrumental in securing the funding for this fall's planting.

Towson Manor Village residents who are interested in having a tree planted in their yard should contact the community association at towsonmanorvillage@gmail.com.

Officials of Evergreene Homes did not return a request for comment.

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