The Howard County Government released the following statement on May 5:
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman announced today that the County’s Watershed Protection and Restoration Program is continuing with a project to create new forest land in Ellicott City.
Approximately 1.68 acres of native trees, including red oak, white oak, black gum, American beech and American holly, will be planted along the eastern and southern boundaries of the Bonnie Branch Middle and Ilchester Elementary school properties. The planting is currently underway.
“This project, along with many more to come in the next few years, continues our efforts to reduce stormwater runoff and better protect the Chesapeake Bay,” said County Executive Ulman. "We want residents to see the value of these projects, and the real impact our investments are making."
This project is part of the County’s Students Branching Out program which engages Howard County students in local tree planting efforts, both on public and private land. Funded by the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays Trust Fund, students participate in tree planting at schools and on field trips, research tree planting opportunities and promote existing County tree planting programs, such as Stream ReLeaf and Tree Canopy.
The Bonnie Branch Middle School and Ilchester Elementary School Tree Planting project is expected to cost $20,304. The project will convert approximately 1.68 acres of grassy area to forest land, and will provide the equivalent pollutant reduction of treating approximately 0.64 acres of impervious area.
Howard County is a leader in responsible stormwater management. Earlier this year, the Howard County Council approved a Watershed Protection and Restoration Plan that is expected to collect $9.5 million yearly for improvement projects.Previously, County Executive Ulman had committed $22 million over the past two years for such projects.
The money will be used for stream restorations, pond retrofits, bioretention areas, asphalt reduction and other projects, in order to meet a federally required target of making sure that 20 percent of Howard County’s untreated impervious surface is being treated by 2019.
Pollutants and chemicals washed by rainwater from impervious surfaces into streams and rivers is a major source of local stream and Chesapeake Bay degradation.
For more information about the County’s stormwater program, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/WatershedFund.htm.
Weather permitting, the project is expected to be completed by end of May. The project is not expected to impact vehicular traffic in the area.
For questions or concerns about Capital Project D-1160, contact Lisa Brightwell, Public Works Customer Service, at 410-313-3440, or by e-mail to email@example.com.