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Volunteers Plant Over 300 Trees at Catoctin Creek Park in Middletown

Daniel Saltzberg, Chesapeake Conservation Corps


Containerized trees ready to be planted.

Between April 18th and April 25th, Community Restoration Coordinator Jeff Feaga, Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer Daniel Saltzberg, and approximately 200 additional volunteers planted trees at the base of Catoctin Creek to explore the benefits of native tree plantings. The plantings were a great success, with a total of 310 trees planted over approximately an acre. The project was funded through a Maryland Stream Restoration Challenge grant, which partners with schools and local communities to establish 1,000 acres of riparian buffer by 2015.

Chesapeake Conservation Corps Member, Daniel Saltzberg, moves trees to be planted.

Students from Brunswick High School, the Middletown High School National Honor Society, and Frederick County Public School’s “SUCCESS” program all took part in the plantings. In addition to students, this planting tapped into other volunteers from Goodwill Industries, local scout troops, individual families, and employees from Cintas Uniform Services and the Common Market. The incredible diversity of ages, backgrounds, and experience of the volunteers made the conversation lively and the work light.

Students and volunteers plant a row of trees.


Community Restoration Coordinator, Dr. Jeff Feaga, explains about the planting site.

The volunteers learned the importance of planting riparian buffers and how streamside forests improve water quality and wildlife habitat. Volunteers loved getting their hands dirty while learning how to properly plant a tree. Some volunteers took a special interest in figuring out which tree species they were planting, and what made that particular species well suited to grow in the flat floodplain along Catoctin Creek. Species ranged from dominant trees like oaks and maples to smaller shrubs, like spicebushes and arrow-wood viburnum.

Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley, Inc. pose for a photo around their newly planted tree.

Catoctin Creek Park’s NatureFest on April 25th was the last day of our weeklong planting event. NatureFest included many interesting exhibitors, archery, animal demonstrations and more, and some visitors to the festival decided to volunteer as well. All of the volunteers were highly engaged, asked many questions and worked tirelessly to get the plantings done. It is great when volunteers really feel like they are making a difference, and changing the planet for the better. That attitude will stick with them for the rest of their lives!

Common Market hard at work planting a River Birch.

Cintas plants a tree together; they also brought donuts!

Cintas also helped us remove invasive Tree-of-Heaven.

In addition to the acre of containerized trees planted by volunteers, 310 additional seedlings were planted by a company contracted by the Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER), Conservation Services, Inc. The additional seedlings totaled approximately one acre, and were also planted in the Catoctin Creek flood plain. Project manager David Coleman and his small crew planted all of the seedlings in one day!

The trees continue to look great, even after some of the hot weather that we’ve experienced in early June. Jeff and Daniel expect nothing but the best, with an ultimate goal of about 80-90% survival. Thanks again to all our volunteers and to Catoctin Creek Park for making this planting a success!

Seedlings planted with tree tubes by contractor, Conservation Services, Inc.


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