Restore Baltimore’s Green Spaces
Blue Water Baltimore’s Restoration Team focuses on two main methods to reduce stormwater and pollution into our waterways: tree plantings and green stormwater infrastructure (GSI)–rain gardens, retention systems, cisterns, impervious removal, and green development. Trees and GSI function in unison to slow and minimize the rush of stormwater through communities and waterways, reducing downstream pollutants. Trees and GSI also redistribute water back into the local landscape, minimizing downstream flooding in risk prone areas.
Our restoration efforts have incorporated trees and GSI in streets, yards, parks, schools, places of worship, stream buffers, businesses, and backyards across Baltimore City and County.
We rely heavily on partnerships with community associations, places of worship, and businesses to revitalize spaces with green solutions. Partners help engage residents for project feedback, provide funding, and volunteer time to develop and install green improvement projects.
Restoring water quality through community-led green initiatives, combined with changing policy and laws will improve our waterways.
Community forestry with Tree Baltimore
Help us restore Baltimore’s greenery to benefit our neighbors & the Bay.
Thanks to the helping hands of many volunteers and partners, we have planted thousands of trees across the Baltimore region. We continue to water, mulch, prune and maintain thousands of new trees annually, while teaching people about tree care and ecology.
Trees have improved neighborhoods, schools, parks and private property in the city and county. Working with our partners, we are striving to achieve a 40% tree canopy within our watersheds.
Trees keep our waterways clean. Their canopies intercept and slow down rainfall. Their roots absorb and filter rushing stormwater that would otherwise create pollution problems in our waterways.
Green Stormwater Infrastructure
Green Stormwater Infrastructure
Blue Water Baltimore works with Baltimore City and County partners (community associations, places of worship, and other organizations) to design and build green stormwater infrastructure (GSI).
GSI serves to minimize the downstream effects of parking lots, roofs, and other impervious surfaces. Impervious surfaces rapidly transport polluted stormwater into our waterways and communities, while GSI aims to counteract that effect by slowing, storing, and filtering stormwater before it reaches our shared streams or causes local flooding events.
Whether you’re looking to revitalize your property with green solutions to stormwater or to treat runoff from a parking lot, we can help!
Please reach out to Patrick McMahon (pmcmahon [at] bluewaterbaltimore.org) or Darin Crew (dcrew[at] bluewaterbaltimore.org).
Each tree makes a difference.
Planting and caring for trees in our yards and public spaces improves the health of our neighborhoods and environment.
How do Trees Help Baltimore?
Community forestry helps Baltimore in several different ways:
Keeping our waterways clean
Tree canopy and root systems filter nutrients from the water and slow down the rush of stormwater to our rivers and Harbor.
Keep our communities cooler
Trees combat the urban heat island effect, reducing summer temperatures and mitigating the effects of climate change.
Reduce air pollution
Trees absorb airborne pollutants and intercept particulates that can negatively affect human health, like carbon monoxide and lead.
Support native wildlife
Insects and animals rely on trees for food and shelter. Areas with more tree canopy see significantly more migratory and year-round birds.
How to Get Involved with Community Forestry in Baltimore
Join a Tree Planting
Our planting season occurs from April-May and October-November.
Join us! We’ll provide the trees, tools & training. All ages & abilities are welcome to get your hands dirty for clean water.
Help with Tree Maintenance
Tree planting is just the first step. We are dedicated to improving long-term tree survival and young trees need care! It takes about 2-3 years to establish a tree before it can survive on its own.
Join us for seasonal tree care including pruning, mulching, watering, invasive species removal and installing protection from deer and mowers.
Tree plantings reduce stormwater runoff and provide much needed nature to urban desserts
Shoreline clean up
Help keep our water clean at the source.
Plant Trees at Home
Each year, Blue Water Baltimore gives away 1,000 free trees to residents of Baltimore City and County.
We offer a variety of native species ranging from understory flowering and fruiting trees to large canopy trees. Our goal is to increase the local tree canopy and biodiversity as well as to inspire residents about the many benefits of urban greening and community forestry.
Many of these species will live for a few decades and up to a couple of centuries, so choose wisely. Before placing your tree order, take a moment to go outside and look at your yard.
Consider any overhead power lines, low areas where rainwater collects, nearby pedestrian right of ways, etc that might affect your choice.
Review the available species listed below and plan for the expected height and spread, lifespan, and sunlight and soil requirements. Check out this Arbor Day guide for more assistance.
We are always looking for volunteers to help us send these trees out across our watersheds! Keep an eye on our calendar of events for our virtual volunteer training each spring and fall.
In 2021 Blue Water Baltimore:
Join us to contribute to water solutions in Maryland.
of impervious surface
lbs of trash
How to Get Involved
Join our mailing list to get updated information on water qualities, on opportunities for making impact, and for special invitations to local events.
Volunteer with us
Meet new people, explore Baltimore, and lend a helping hand as a Blue Water Baltimore volunteer to protect and improve our city!
Become a member
A donation of any size makes you a member of Blue Water Baltimore and part of our fight for clean water and strong communities.