In case you were unaware, last year, Maryland took a bold step towards a greener future with the launch of its “5 Million Trees Initiative.” The goal of this ambitious program is to plant five million trees across the state by 2031, making a significant impact on the local environment and our communities for decades to come.

The initiative, spearheaded by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust Urban Trees Award Program, aims to significantly increase tree cover throughout the state, by carrying out planting efforts and funding NGOs’ and nonprofits’ private tree planting efforts. This comes as a response to address the urgent need for solutions to many environmental issues, as well as a remedy to many human issues. Trees play a crucial role in the world and the health of the environment.

Trees are the answer to a multitude of problems the world is currently facing. The public’s number one issue is addressing climate change. Trees not only absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to grow, they also slow the release of carbon into the atmosphere. By establishing dense root systems, trees help keep carbon dioxide from escaping the soil.

Maryland was suffering from deforestation through logging and construction development. Maryland was losing forest cover, but our wetland ecosystems were more impacted. Maryland’s wetland ecosystems are the home to many species of animals which rely on that habitat for survival or reproduction. Wetlands also serve as massive carbon sinks, being able to hold more carbon dioxide than a forest of the same size. They serve as a protective barrier between the local waters and the communities nearby, protecting the local communities from flooding and weather events, and protecting the water from runoff, sediments, and pollution. Maryland has acknowledged this, and the 5 Million Trees Initiative has one of their objectives as increasing forest cover and restoring wetlands.

Trees aren’t only a path to improve problems that have arisen in the environment, but they can also be used to fix problems that families face daily. Another goal of the 5 Million Trees Initiative was to address the lack of trees in urban and underserved areas. While we at GHEP hold the environment dear to our hearts, our efforts lie in improving the lives of people everyday.

At GHEP, we aim to improve social factors that influence health outcomes. One of our methods is through tree planting. The presence of a tree canopy can massively influence the health of the locals. Trees provide clean air for everyone and potentially food. On top of that trees absorb stormwater, which can help combat flooding; something that can be financially devastating to some families. Most importantly, the shade tree canopies produce, can drastically affect the temperature at street level. The difference can be up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. This can lead to families having an increase in their power bill, that they may be unable to afford, or at worst, heat casualties if water and air conditioning are not available.

We care, and alongside the state of MD and fellow organizations, we aim to improve the lives of everyone with trees. If you reside in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and own/rent a home, consider signing up for our Family Tree Adoption Program. If you are interested, apply now and tell your friends.


Maryland Department of Natural Resources. (2023, June 1). Five Million Trees Please: Maryland Rolls Out 5 Million Trees Initiative. Retrieved from

Chesapeake Bay Foundation. (2021, July). Maryland’s 5 Million Tree Program Will Help Protect the Shore. Save the Bay Blog. Retrieved from