West and Rhode Riverkeeper

We work with our community to enforce environmental law, to
promote restoration, and to advocate for better environmental policy.
Contact us: 410-867-7171  ♦  4800 Atwell Rd, #6, Shady Side, MD 20764

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Around South County: 200 trees -- and 100 stewards -- planted at Camp Letts

 Southern Middle School sixth graders, from left, Samantha Havanki, Kaylee O'Brien and Julia Markham were among more than 100 students planting 200 trees at YMCA Camp Letts, with the help of county Councilman Jerry Walker, state Sen. John Astle, Joe Ports, restoration coordinator for West/Rhode Riverkeeper, and Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. (Courtesy Photo, HANDOUT / October 16, 2014)
By Jerri Anne Hopkins, The Capital
November 12, 2014


  What was once an eroding horse pasture is now a forested buffer protecting the Rhode River from polluted stormwater runoff.

Recently, 100 students from Southern Middle School in Lothian planted more than 200 trees along the shoreline of the YMCA Camp Letts in Edgewater, transforming four acres of the camp's horse pasture.


  "We didn't just plant trees today," said Jeff Holland, the West and Rhode Riverkeeper, "we planted a 100 new stewards for our rivers and the Bay."


  The event marked the completion of a two-year project managed by the West/Rhode Riverkeeper to replace Camp Letts' eroding horse pastures with forested buffers and build a new heavy use area to house the camp's eight horses.


  Arlington Echo, the Anne Arundel County Public School's environmental education center, coordinated the tree planting through its Chesapeake Connection Program. The Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Anne Arundel County Soil Conservation District, Arlington Echo and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources funded the project.


  "Projects like this one not only restore vital shoreline and protect natural habitat, but they also educate the community on how they can protect local waterways and make a difference for our natural resources," said Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. "Through our partnership with the Maryland Department of the Environment and great grantees like the West/Rhode Riverkeeper, we are able to build successful projects that will reduce polluted runoff from entering the Rhode River."

Davis was there, getting wet and muddy along with the students, as was state Sen. John Astle, D-District 30 and District 7 county Councilman Jerry Walker.


  West/Rhode Riverkeeper, Inc., is one of 18 independent waterkeeper groups belonging to Waterkeepers Chesapeake; it's a licensed member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international movement with nearly 200 membership organizations worldwide; and a member of the River Network, which represents more than 2,000 state, regional and local grass roots organizations whose primary mission is protecting our most vital natural resource -- water.


For details on how to become a volunteer or member of the West/Rhode Riverkeeper organization, log on to http://www.westrhoderiverkeeper.org.


For details on the Chesapeake Bay Trust and its grant opportunities, visit http://www.cbtrust.org.