St. Luke’s Tree Planting and Invasive Plant Removal

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What is polluted runoff?

Parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed contain a high percentage of impervious cover – paved or other hard surfaces such as roofs and roadways that prevent rain water from being absorbed into the ground.  Instead, water runs along these surfaces, collecting trash and substances such as motor oil, lawn fertilizers, and pesticides.  This polluted stormwater flows into streams and rivers, where it threatens aquatic ecosystems and public health.   Effective stormwater management, on the other hand, creates safe paths for polluted runoff to be captured and filtered through the ground before it reaches waterways.  This helps keep the environment clean and our communities healthy!

Navy Midshipmen Action Group and volunteers with bags of trash. Credit: Betsy Love, St. Luke's Parish.
Volunteers remove invasive species from the forest. Credit: Betsy Love, St. Luke's Parish.


Project Location: Annapolis, MD

Problem:  The property of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis’ Eastport neighborhood includes a wooded area that had been overtaken by invasive plants, putting the tree canopy in danger of failing. This posed serious safety risks and threatened to undermine the site’s biodiversity and ecological integrity.

Solution: 170 volunteers from St. Luke’s parish and the U.S. Naval Academy’s Midshipmen Action Group worked together for six days to clear invasive species that had overtaken the forest.  Then a professional crew was brought in to chip the invasive plants and replant new native trees.  The forest is now in bloom and growing well.  This project is the first phase of a comprehensive green infrastructure effort at St. Luke’s, which will ultimately treat 28 acres of stormwater flowing to Back Creek, a tributary of the Severn River.  Project components include the construction of a regenerative stream channel, marshes and wetlands, and a living shoreline.

Scale: 2.5 acres

Pollutants removed: 27.5 lbs/yr nitrogen; 34 lbs/yr phosphorous; 62 tons/yr sediment

Cost: $12,277 plus $800/yr for maintenance

Funding sources: St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church mission grant; READY program; U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen Action Group

Contact information:

Betsy Love | | 917-939-9409
Anne Arundel

Key project facts

Project Type:
Tree Planting
$10,000 - $99,000
Story Focus:
Environmental Benefits, Monitoring, Community Engagement
Stormwater Utility Funds:
Problem Addressed:
Aesthetics, Flooding / Drainage, Health Hazard, Runoff Pollution
Year Installed:
State Legislative District:
Congressional District:
MD 3rd