Efforts to add to the canopy of trees in Catonsville got a big boost on Saturday, as 50 Elm trees were planted at the Melvin Park apartments off of Winters Lane.
This is the third year that a group of volunteers, nonprofits and businesses have banded together through the Catonsville Tree Canopy Project to plant trees. A total of 150 trees have been planted in three years, volunteer Jim Himel said. In 10 years, organizers hope to plant 1,000 trees.
This year's effort brought 40 volunteers out to plant a variety of the American Elm that has been raised be resistant to a blight that has wiped out many Elm trees.
The trees were paid for in part through the Casey Trees foundation, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. that works to increase the tree canopy in the district. The organization plants about 2,000 trees a year.
This is the first project the organization has participated in, said Mark Buscaino, the executive director of Casey Trees.
Buscaino said they decided to participate because it was a well-conceived project. While Elms are typically associated with older, tree-lined streets, they need more space to grow than is usually given to them. The trees planted in Melvin Park were planted in yards, instead of between the sidewalk and curb.
The Elm trees will grow to about 70 feet all when they reach maturity, but they are also fast growing, he said.
"In 15 years, this place will be transformed," he said."They'll shade this entire block."
Casey Trees only plants about 200 Elms a year, and Buscaino and Himel said this was the largest concentration of new Elms planted in Maryland in years.
In past years, trees have been planted at Hillcrest Elementary School, Westowne Elementary School, Mount De Sales Academy, Catonsville High School, the Catonsville Library and Catonsville United Methodist Church.
Volunteers who were there planting on Saturday included residents of Old Catonsville and Catonsville Cub Scout Pack 307.
Some residents of Melvin Park were out on Saturday morning, admiring the new addition to their front yards.
Delia Hill, who has lived in Melvin Park for about 30 years, said that she loves her new tree.
"I'll take care of my tree," she said.
Bringing the community out is important to the future health of the trees, Buscaino said.
"If you plant a tree and walk away it's not going to make it."
Patch freelancer Meg Tipper contributed to this article.