Creek ReLeaf Program - Reforesting Frederick County

About the Program

Frederick County's Creek ReLeaf Program is a multi-year reforestation program geared towards replanting trees on both private and public lands lacking trees to provide stormwater control, reduce temperature impacts on County streams, and to assist the County in meeting regulatory requirements.  The Creek ReLeaf Program anticipates planting up to 85 acres of native trees on private and public properties during this year's application period.  Property owners are encouraged to apply to the program during each of the open application periods.  This year's application period was from May 1, 2017 to May 31, 2017. 

Applicants who are selected for the program will work together with County staff to draft and finalize the permanent conservation easement on the property proposed to be reforested and will be financially compensated at a rate of $9,000 per acre placed within the easement.  In addition, Frederick County will plant the trees and perform the first five years of maintenance; thereafter, the property owner will be responsible for maintenance.  After the 5 years of initial maintenance, County staff will have the rights to inspect, verify, and enforce based on the terms outlined in the signed permanent conservation easement. 

Anticipated Achievement of the Creek ReLeaf Program

Creek ReLeaf's first year goal is to plant 8,500 trees by May 2018!

View Our Brochure:

Creek ReLeaf Brochure

General Scoring Criteria

The Creek ReLeaf Program will rank and prioritize proposed reforestation areas on a yearly basis using the scoring criteria listed below:

  • Size of proposed reforestation project (multiple property owners can join together to increase their chances of being accepted as the minimum acreage to be reforested must be at least 2 acres)
  • Potential to expand or connect existing forests
  • Proximity to a stream with high or poor water quality
  • Presence of Brook Trout within the watershed
  • Access to site for planting, maintenance, and long-term monitoring
  • Presence of other nearby restoration efforts to improve watershed health
  • Site outside of the following jurisdictional boundaries: Brunswick, Emmitsburg, Frederick City, Middletown, Mount Airy, Myersville, Thurmont, and Walkersville

A detailed list of each criteria and scoring points is located here: Creek ReLeaf Program Ranking Criteria

Prior to Applying

Interested property owners should do the following prior to applying for the program:

  • Determine the area proposed to be reforested
  • Review the proposed Permanent Conservation Easement
  • Know where any easements are located on the property
  • Know where the septic field is (if present on property)

 Know Your Land:

Reforestation will not be allowed in:

  • Existing easements such as water, sewer, power lines, etc.
  • Existing or proposed septic fields
  • Existing agricultural easements where conflict may occur

What to expect if accepted into the program:

  • County staff will contact property owner and visit site to delineate the reforestation area in summer of 2017
  • Planting plan will be drafted for the area to be reforested
  • Property owner will sign Right of Access Agreement to allow survey crews to delineate the reforestation area boundaries for the Permanent Conservation Easement
  • The area surveyed will determine the compensation the property owner will receive at a rate of $9,000* per acre placed in the easement
  • Easement will be signed and recorded in Maryland Land Records as a permanent easement containing the reforestation area
  • Trees will be planting in the Spring of 2018
  • Frederick County will perform five years of maintenance
  • After the first 5 years of maintenance, the property owner will resume any maintenance on the reforestation area
  • The reforested area will be inspected by Frederick County staff every three years to ensure conservation easement compliance

                 *Please consult a tax professional in regards to any implications regarding the easement compensation

Apply to the Creek ReLeaf Program

This year's application period ran from May 1, 2017 to May 31, 2017.
Due to the steps needed to secure and record a permanent conservation easement, properties accepted into this years application will be planted in Spring 2018.

Our next application period will begin April 2018 for planting in Spring 2019.  Please check back at that time to apply.

Have Questions?

If you have questions or would like additional information about the Creek ReLeaf Program, send an email to Jeremy Joiner, or call Jeremy at 301.600.1350.