Wood swap set for tree removal at Patapsco park

September 03, 1996|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

In an attempt to save money, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is implementing an innovative tree maintenance plan that will lead to the reopening of a recreational area in Patapsco Valley State Park.

The plan calls for the removal of about 125 diseased or hazardous trees in the park's Hilton and Hollofield recreational areas by a private contractor, who would not be paid but could sell the wood.

Bruce Wilkins, assistant park manager for Patapsco, said the department would be able to save the fee usually paid to contractors -- an average of about $89 a tree.

"Between 1990 and 1996, we have spent about $40,000 for tree removal," Wilkins said. "What we are hoping is that with this plan, it won't cost us a thing and the contractor will benefit from the value of the trees."

The Hilton recreational area, located off Rolling Road in Catonsville, has been closed to campers for three years, and officials hope the tree removal will be the first step in reopening it. Wilkins said hazardous trees are classified as those in danger of falling on a person or shelter.

In the past five years, Patapsco Valley State Park has had about 450 trees removed by private contractors. About half of those were removed from the Hollofield area off U.S. 40 in the early 1990s because of gypsy moth damage.

Wilkins said officials hope to begin the tree removal in November.

Pub Date: 9/03/96

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