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Council to Get Update on Airport Tree Removal Work and Mitigation Plan

The representatives from the M-NCPPC / the Airport will be back again at this week’s meeting to update the Council about their recent tree removal activities and their plan to mitigate the tree losses that happened because of it.

Back in early February, the City was told that just around 150 trees would be trimmed as part of the project. But during a presentation on the project on February 25, 2020, the M-NCPPC / Airport officials predicted that more than 400 trees could be trimmed or removed. According to the most recent report, to date, 387 trees have been removed to meet stricter FAA regulations – especially tighter rules governing 200 feet from runway.

The M-NCPPC / Airport is planning to plant a total of 1,510 trees – 900 more trees than is required by regulations. This represents 4:1 ratio of trees replanted to trees removed and includes 70% canopy trees. Trees will be planted in the city and surrounding area. Trees will be planted in four phases- Phase One (Spring 2020) – 120 trees, Phase Two (Fall 2020) – 570 trees, Phase Three (Fall 2021) – 580 trees, and Phase Four (Spring 202) 240 trees

Environmental stabilization measures will include installation of a staked straw bales along the trail near CSX/Metro underpass, and seed with annual rye and soil stabilization, straw mulching and matting along area adjacent to Paint Branch and near CSX/Metro

As part of the revised mitigation plan, the airport will ensure that tree trimming is strictly limited to FAA safety requirements for ongoing, unchanged airport operations. The operations will be In compliance with all federal and state regulations. Furthermore, independent 3rd party will be used to ensure best management practices and environmental regulations are met. Updated approach includes minimal ground disturbance, limited machinery, expanded hand-tools – minimizing impact to ecosystem, canopy and overall environment. Going forward, trimming will take place every 4-5 years instead of every 7-8 years – resulting in less impact to trees.

Revised plan includes modest to heavy trimming with no additional tree removals – limiting ground disturbance, meeting environmental regulations. They will also conduct bi-annual tree monitoring and mitigate for additional loss

The M-NCPPC is also committing two enhanced Amenities, including two 20×20 permanent shade structures in Old Calvert Road Park, and upgraded disc golf course including custom artwork such as tree sculptures

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