May 19, 2024
Annapolis, US 71 F

Save Our Trees Joins the Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy

Save Our Trees, cofounded by Susan Wheatley, Ginger Woolridge, and Terri McKenna, along with Watershed Stewards Nina Fisher, Mary Ann Marbury, and Laurene Parlatore, was formed one year ago with a mission to have an immediate and long-term impact on the removal of English ivy and other invasive vines from trees in the City of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Since last spring, Save Our Trees has cleared ivy from more than 1,300 canopy trees and aims to double or triple that number in the coming year.  

“Restoring tree canopy is a critical strategy for creating healthy communities. Through our partnerships with Anne Arundel County, City of Annapolis, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and hundreds of community leaders across Anne Arundel County, WSA plants thousands of new trees each year.  Saving existing canopy trees from destructive invasive vines is vital to ensure local forests are healthy enough to filter water and clean our air.  We are thrilled to align our work with Save Our Trees to protect and restore local forests,” said Suzanne Etgen, Executive Director, WSA.  

Once you see the ivy problem, you can’t unsee it!

Susan Wheatley, Save Our Trees

“The missions of Save our Trees and WSA are so closely aligned—both lead impactful community action to reduce pollution and make our local environment healthy for all—that it seemed logical to join forces,” added Frank Dawson, Board Chair, WSA.   

Save our Trees organizes events that rid trees of English ivy on both public and private property within the City of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, and beyond. With over 145 volunteers—some familiar with clearing ivy and some taught the proper techniques onsite—the program is addressing an expanding list of ivy-infested locations needing immediate help. It also provides educational seminars at club meetings, homeowner association gatherings, and community events. These events create greater awareness about the urgency of this problem along with “how-to” guides for community leaders to continue on their own. Save Our Trees also coordinates with other local organizations dealing with invasive vine removal to amplify everyone’s efforts. 

Local officials acknowledge the effectiveness of the group’s efforts, with Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley recently awarding it a commendation. County Executive Steuart Pittman agrees: “Critical to the success of Anne Arundel’s Green Infrastructure Plan, completed in 2022, are the efforts of our county’s volunteer organizations. Save Our Trees works to remove English ivy and other invasive vines to save and maintain our mature canopy trees. They are a prime example of how focused, citizen-led groups can make a difference. Joining forces with the well-established Watershed Stewards Academy strengthens both groups’ vital environmental efforts.”

Susan Wheatley of Save Our Trees summarized the goals of the organization today. “All our efforts focus on creating awareness to help others see the problem; empower and educate them on how to solve the problem; and encourage people to influence others so the efforts fan out in a ripple effect. We always say, once you see the ivy problem, you can’t unsee it. We are delighted to become a program within WSA so through its extensive reach, our shared message will motivate even more people to join this battle.”

Read more about Save Our Trees here: saveourtreestogether.org  and https://aawsa.org/save-our-trees

Did you miss the podcast we did with Save Our Trees? Have a listen!

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