Membership dollars help us do the basic things necessary to keep things running:
Respond to policy issues affecting open space inside the URDL,
Proactively outline and pursue strategies for protecting more land for parks and trails,
Publish fact sheets and other materials,
Purchase insurance to protect our staff and volunteers, and
Maintain our sites.
Although we have increased the acreage under our protection throughout communities inside the URDL substantially in the last few years, less than 1% of the citizens of these communities are members of NeighborSpace. A land trust of our size needs about 600 members to sustain its operations annually. As shown in the graphic at left, we have a ways to go. Click “Join Now” to learn about the benefits and levels of membership.
THE DONALD C. OUTEN URBAN TREE SOCIETY
When New York's Parks Department assessed the value of the City's urban tree canopy recently, the benefits totaled $120 million annually, 5.5 times the department's annual budget. It was estimated, further that every big tree intercepted 1,432 gallons of stormwater annually. Trees, it turns out, are not expensive ornaments. Rather, they are an essential part of the urban, or, in our case, "inner suburban" landscape.
Using our new mapping tool to assess tree canopy quality (see map, left), we now know that, across our existing properties, 2/3 have a forest preservation opportunity score of “high.” Clearly, a focus on forest preservation needs to be a part of the management plan for each of our existing properties.
Baltimore County has a goal of achieving and maintaining 40 percent tree coverage within more populated areas inside the Urban Rural Demarcation Line (URDL). Tree canopy currently comprises 40.26% of the acreage within Census Designated Places (CDP) inside the URDL, slightly exceeding the coverage goal.
Quality of Tree Canopy on NeighborSpace Sites
Our experience on many of our sites has shown that the quality of the canopy is threatened by invasive species. Below, left, is a photo of Adelaide Bentley Park before we made an effort to develop a park. The overall map score for this park was in the medium-high range, largely because of the potential for forest preservation. As shown in the "after" photo, below, however, we were able to preserve very little of the existing tree canopy, owing to the negative impacts of invasive species. The cost of removing the invasives and dead/decaying trees at Bentley Park exceeded $8,000, including goats, spraying, tree removal and mulching. Reforestation and related expenses exceeded $19,000.
Purpose of the Society
The purpose of the program is to protect and regenerate the trees, tree canopy and forest floor ecosystem of the properties NeighborSpace conserves inside the URDL and to educate citizens about their care and value to the urban landscape.
Naming - Don Outen
Don worked as a Natural Resource Manager in the Baltimore County Dept. of Environmental Protection and Sustainability from 1987 until January of 2017, when he retired. For 15 of his 29 years with county government, he worked to implement the county’s Forest Sustainability Program, which seeks to develop and maintain healthy forests, woods, trees, and conservation landscapes. Importantly for the work of NeighborSpace, Don was the impetus behind the county’s Urban Tree Canopy Goals included in the Sustainability Program. In 2015 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Forest Management and Preservation from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.
The sponsorship levels of the program are as follows:
*DBH measures the diameter of a tree at breast height.
Sponsorship trees will be made available, first, to existing members of NeighborSpace and then to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis.
New park trees will be replaced at no cost to the donor. Where existing tagged trees must be felled owing to becoming diseased or dangerous, the donor will be offered the opportunity to select a tree of similar size to the one originally planted on the same or a different NeighborSpace property.
Standardized language for the tree tag will include the genus, species and common name of the tree, and the name of the donor. The tag for trees under 8” DBH will be attached to a leading branch with a wire. Tags for trees 8” DBH or greater will be attached using a “plantsmap.com” tree mount hardware set, which consists of 2 washers, a spring, and a star-head screw, as this method of tagging has been found to be safe and economical. An added benefit of the plantsmap product is that it contains a QR code linked to educational information about the tree. A sample Plantsmap tag is shown at left.
NeighborSpace will coordinate the timing and installation of tree tags.
NeighborSpace will replace a park tree tag if it is damaged or stolen.
Funds collected through the Outen Urban Tree Society may be used for tree planting and maintenance, ecosystem maintenance (e.g., removal of invasive species, trash and debris), educational activities and materials, and payment of staff to perform any of these services. Up to 35% of the amounts collected may, at the discretion of the NeighborSpace Board of Directors, be applied to administrative costs.
Click on “SPONSOR A TREE NOW” to see available trees.
Source: NeighborSpace Akubo Database, 6/30/2017
(> 47.99" DBH*)
(UP TO 7.99" DBH)
SPONSOR A TREE NOW
SPONSOR A TREE NOW
Membership rates start at just $18 for students & seniors & $24 for others