As the result of work by many key legislators, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and many other environment and climate partners, The Maryland General Assembly established a target of planting 5 million trees in Maryland by 2031, with at least 500,000 of those trees to be planted in underserved urban neighborhoods and communities across the State.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust, a nonprofit grant-making organization established by the General Assembly in 1985 to empower community groups on-the-ground, was tapped to administer a grant program to support the Urban Tree portion of the effort. The Trust is asking individuals and groups interested in urban greening, urban forestry, tree planting, community engagement, neighborhood beautification, heat island effect, and other related topics to participate in listening sessions this fall as Trust staff shape the Request for Proposals that will be used to solicit grant proposals.

Listening sessions will be 60-90 minutes long, will offer an outline of the program’s criteria as called for in statute, and will ask for input on factors that the Trust should consider as the RFP is shaped.  Topics on which input can be offered include but are not limited to community support, interest, and buy-in; technical issues such as tree pit criteria and species selection; site availability; materials availability; maintenance requirements and opportunities; how best to support entities who may have never planted trees or applied for grants; and more. Individuals should register for only one of the three offered listening sessions, as the material covered will be the same.

Please join the Trust for one of three virtual listening sessions, for which registration links are below.

Individuals with difficulty participating via zoom for any reason can contact the Trust for alternative arrangements to providing input. We anticipate also holding formal grant workshops once the Request for Proposals for the Urban Tree Program is released.

We hope you can join us!!