In early Spring 2014, over 100 seventh grade students from Mardela Middle/High School (MMHS) planted nearly 400 native trees and shrubs alongside the Nanticoke River at a local park (Cherry Beach, Sharptown, MD) to create a riparian buffer. Ultimately, the buffer prevents erosion and reduces stormwater runoff, which can carry toxic chemicals, excessive nutrients, and sediment. Trees have many benefits to the environment and human health.
Local community members significantly contributed to the project as well. After the students planted the trees, local volunteers applied a layer of compost and mulch to increase survival rate and help properly establish the trees before the hot summer months. Compost enriches the tree roots with proper nutrients, and mulch allows the tree to hold moisture.
Native Trees and Shrubs List:
- Button Bush
- American Sycamore
- Easter Red Cedar
- Loblolly Pine
- Bald Cypress
- Red Maple
- Green Ash
In early Fall 2014, a senior-level Environmental Science class from MMHS worked at the same park to plant more trees, replace some trees that did not survive the first season, and ensure the trees were properly planted and ready for winter. The class consisted of roughly 10 students, and they planted over 120 trees.
Governor O’Malley’s Stream Restoration Challenge grant program funded this project. A number of partners contributed to the program’s success, including the Town of Sharptown, Wicomico County, Mardela Middle and High School, and BKW Landscaping, Inc.
Thank you Mardela Middle and High School students and to volunteers for your hard work and efforts to keep our Nanticoke River healthy and beautiful for future generations! Thank you to ASAPR Integrated Marketing, Inc. for sponsoring the community volunteer event and for providing lunch.