Howard residents quickly claim free trees

March 28, 2010|By Larry Carson

A Howard County parks program that on Monday offered 2,010 young trees free to Howard County residents had such a heavy response that all the trees were spoken for by noon Wednesday.

Residents could reserve up to two of five different varieties of native trees, and can pick them up May 1 from one of five locations around the county. Money for the trees, which are up to 5 feet tall, comes from interest from a Forest Conservation Fund that builders pay into if they fail to meet their reforestation requirements. The idea, according to county officials, is to increase the number of trees in the county, which ultimately helps the environment.

"We are excited about the public response to this new program," County Executive Ken Ulman said in an announcement. "In addition to the environmental benefit of planting 2,010 trees, this program will help replace some of the trees we lost during this winter's historic snowstorms."

The tree program cost about $35,000, county officials said.

Ulman said that since the program has proved so popular, it might be repeated.

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