Two important bills to maintain and increase our tree canopy have been introduced in the Montgomery County Council. County Council Bill 35-12 conserves mature tree canopy and aims to increase urban canopy on residential and commercial lots in our communities. Council Bill 41-12, conserves trees along streets and in the public rights of way in our communities.
Sign a petition to let the County Council know how you feel about passage of these two companion tree bills. We are losing mature trees in our county due to storm damage, development and disease. The only way to maintain a healthy level of tree cover is to care for our existing trees, retain as many canopy trees as possible during construction and to replant aggressively to make up for the older trees we are losing. Trees are the lungs of our county and help to improve water and air quality. Research shows that homes with mature trees on the lot sell at higher prices and that retail centers where there are ample trees and landscaping realize higher profits.
We need trees in our Montgomery County communities -- and they need us to sign this online petition. Sign on and speak up for the trees!
To maintain healthy and vibrant communities in Montgomery County, we must do all that we can to conserve and maintain our existing tree canopy. In addition, we must replant native trees aggressively to make up for what is lost due to storm damage, development, disease and damage from invasive species.
Our trees are more than a matter of aesthetics in Montgomery County communities. They provide life-giving shade, help capture stormwater runoff and sequester CO2 that contributes to poor air quality and climate change. Research shows that children attending school in tree-lined neighborhoods are better able to focus and lead overall healthier lives since trees provide a calming psychological effect. In addition, studies have shown that homes sell for higher prices and business realize higher profits when mature trees surround the built environment.
I urge you to do what is right for our County and vote yes on two bills that are a step in the right direction for Montgomery: 35-12 and 41-12. I also urge you to support the amendments and recommendations that you will receive from the Planning Board and Planning Department staff on Bill 35-12. While the bill has worthy intent, it needs to be strengthened with the Planning Department staff report recommendations. Strong regulations must also accompany both tree bills that will help county agencies administer these two bills successfully to create a results-driven urban canopy program for Montgomery County.