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Cheverly Green Plan News

Cheverly Proclaims 2012 The Year of the Oak

On March 8, 2012, the Mayor and Council of Cheverly adopted a proclamation designating 2012 the Year of the Oak. Read the Proclamation:

Whereas, the Maryland Native Plant Society has designated 2012 the Year of the Oak,

Whereas, the Town of Cheverly has long celebrated its participation in the Tree City, USA program,

Whereas, the Town of Cheverly passed a resolution endorsing a Green Infrastructure Plan which specifically recognizes the value of our tree canopy,

Whereas, Oak Trees have been an important part of Cheverly’s history as Oak Trees are mentioned as property boundary markers in property deeds dating back to the 17th century,

Whereas, Cheverly’s tree canopy contains many notable oak trees such as the centrally located Bellamy Oak, saplings from the famed Wye Oak, and a Pin Oak that rivals Maryland state champions,

Whereas, Cheverly’s Oak Trees are important for supporting wildlife as their acorns feed our wild animals, cavities supply nesting sites for birds, and no other plant type supports more species of butterflies and moths.

Therefore, the Cheverly Town Council gladly proclaims 2012 the Year of the Oak, and,

Therefore, the Town of Cheverly will honor this proclamation by planting Oak Trees on Arbor Day April 11th. 2012.

Pick up your white oak seedlings when you attend Dr. Doug Tallamy's presentation on March 20, and watch for more oak-themed activities throughout the year.

Cheverly Green Infrastructure Plan Implementation Kick-Off Event, November 19, 2011

Prince George's Gazette, November 24, 2011

RTCA Highlights Cheverly Green Plan

Maryland News, a newsletter of the National Park ServiceRivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, Northeast Region, highlights the Cheverly Green Plan in its latest (January 2011) issue. Note: The pdf file is a download.

"Nearing completion of a green infrastructure plan for the Town of Cheverly, the highly
motivated members of the Town-appointed steering committee are compiling a series
of recommendations into a “community-wide green plan.” This effort strives to balance
community needs, healthy environment and future land use decisions through
restoration and protection of Cheverly’s natural assets. In addition to establishing an
interconnected network of natural lands, the plan will recommend the Town adopt a
“green infrastructure approach” for managing future day-to-day administration. This
approach would encourage an increase in tree canopy, a reduction of impervious surfaces
(that increase storm water runoff), the possible development of “green streets,”
and restoration actions to improve the health of Cheverly’s natural areas and streams.
In an effort to demonstrate the many benefits associated with the Plan, officials of
Cheverly and the adjoining Baltimore-Washington Parkway are presently exploring a
collaborative partnership to restore the headwaters of Quincy Run in the Town’s 1st
RJ Eldridge and Cheverly citizens discuss the Green Plan.

Cheverly -- Our Bay Starts Here!

On November 6, 2010, Cheverly turned out to mark its storm drains and celebrate its waterways. Photos by Jo Deutsch unless otherwise indicated.

Cheverly -- Our Bay Starts Here! makes page 1. Ann Caldwell and son James affix storm drain decal. The Gazette, Thursday, November 11, 2010.

National Park Service Web Site Features Cheverly Green Plan

Go to the 2009 Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance projects page and choose Maryland to find a paragraph on the Cheverly Green Plan.

Cheverly group holds hearing on green infrastructure

by Natalie McGill | Staff Writer

Noting their town's multiple parks, access to waterways and hilly geography, Cheverly residents listed neighborhood attributes they want preserved in a future green infrastructure plan.

More than 30 residents met at Cheverly's Judith P. Hoyer Early Learning Center Nov. 12 to learn what green infrastructure is, which features define their community and what should remain as is if development comes through town.

The meeting was the first public session for the Cheverly Green Infrastructure Plan, a work in progress to identify and protect natural areas such as forestry and wetlands. Residents representing groups such as Friends of Lower Beaverdam Creek and Cheverly Garden Club make up a nine-member steering committee.

Outreach and Education Chairwoman Cynthia Robinson said the steering committee meets on the first Monday of every month in the Cheverly Community Center conference room. The meetings are open to the public.

Mayor Julia Mosley said the Town Council wants to see a formal plan as a guide for Cheverly's future development. Many of the tall elm trees she remembers lining Cheverly Avenue when she moved to the community 34 years ago have since vanished, Mosley said.

She said until the town has a "really good map and a really good plan," green spaces will continue to disappear. The committee's goal is to present a plan to the Town Council by spring 2009.

"There's not a lot of open space in this part of the county so this is extremely valuable to us," Mosley said.

Interconnected wetlands, woodlands and wildlife habitats form an area's green infrastructure, said C. J. Lammers, an environmental planning supervisor for the county's Planning Department.

Green infrastructure plans should be environmentally friendly, but also beneficial to humans, said Dana Coelho, a presidential management fellow in the U.S. Forest Service Cooperative Forestry Staff. It's important to preserve natural areas, she said, since wetlands can help reduce storm water surges and flooding from heavy rain and trees cover can eliminate carbons from the air.

According to Lammers, slightly less than half of the county's 500 square miles are forested. While as late as eight years ago the county's tree canopy was no smaller than it was just before World War II, development has left the county's natural areas more fragmented, she said.

Wink Hastings of the National Park Service asked the residents to list the town's striking and defining features. While many instantly noted the hills and the distinctive homes, resident Michael Giese liked the lack of backyard chain link fences while Melanie Hartwig-Davis said she liked how there were no garages and neighbors actually talk to each other before heading inside their homes.

Hastings also asked residents to list the town's cultural, environmental, recreational and economic assets. Residents listed Cheverly United Methodist Church, Magruder Spring, tributaries of Lower Beaverdam Creek, Town Park and their proximity to Prince George's Hospital and Route 202 businesses. When asked what they'd like to see in five and 20 years, residents envisioned electrical wiring installed underneath the ground and out of the trees, reestablishing the town's tree canopy and getting rid of invasive plant species.

After recently ripping up poison ivy and strangler vine, 25-year resident Rud Moe came to the meeting to see what he could do to make his home greener, including improving storm water runoff.

"I got involved recently tearing vines out of my backyard and they were coming from other people's backyards," Moe said.

Moe said he was surprised and encouraged by the enthusiasm attendees brought to the meeting.

"A lot of people here have some very specific ideas about that level of integration I think will really be valuable," Moe said.

Councilman R.J. Eldridge (Ward 3), a steering committee member, wants the town connected to the Anacostia River Trail system for a bike path. This would be challenging, Eldridge acknowledged, as the path would have to cross I-295 and Kenilworth Avenue. He said Cheverly is isolated because it is mostly sealed in by major roads such as I-295, Route 50 and Route 202.

Eldridge said the more resident support the plan receives, the better it will be.

"For us to make decisions on how the town does things we need to make sure they represent the interests of Cheverly," Eldridge said.

E-mail Natalie McGill at

Gazette, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008

Cheverly residents want to ensure town's future environmental health
Action group to create preservation plan
by Natalie McGill, Staff Writer

Seeking to preserve the natural environment surrounding their homes, a team of Cheverly residents is creating a conservation plan it hopes will guide the town's future development projects.

Residents representing groups such as Progressive Cheverly, Friends of Lower Beaverdam Creek and the Town Council are brainstorming ideas for a Cheverly Green Infrastructure Plan, which will act as a resource to help preserve green infrastructure—woodlands, wetlands, marshes, trees—when doing town planning.

At the helm of the plan are nine steering committee members and four ad-hoc committee members.

Steering committee member Matt T. Salo said he and his neighbors noticed that wildlife native to Cheverly, like chipmunks and skunks, was nowhere to be found. Salo was also concerned about the effects of industrial activity on the outskirts of the town. He pointed to a concrete batching plant on Sherriff Road and woods cleared for clay mining near Sheriff, Marblewood and Cabin Branch roads.

"Air quality has gotten worse," Salo said. "All the bodies of water are polluted. There's hardly any fish left. These are the type of things we got concerned about."

Steering committee members manned a station during Cheverly Day on May 17 which featured an aerial map of the town. Members asked residents to circle places and natural areas they wanted protected in the future. Dan Smith, a member of Friends of Lower Beaverdam Creek, said there was some interest in having more hiking and biking trails in the town, but said it is "sealed in" by major highways such as the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 50.

"Cheverly is really isolated by the highway and rail system around us," Smith said. "We have very few [trails] and we're not connected at all to the Anacostia trails network, and as that reaches a new stage here along the river in Bladensburg and into D.C., we would really like to be a part of that."

The steering committee recently formed several advisory groups, such as a land status and use committee, which will research existing zoning and policies related to the land, and an outreach and education committee responsible for planning community forums and updating residents through the town newsletter. Cynthia Robinson, chairwoman of outreach and education, said the goal is to have a presentation ready for the Town Council by spring 2009.

Representatives from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the Conservation Fund and the Chesapeake Watershed Assistance Program are scheduled to speak at a green infrastructure public workshop from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 12 at Cheverly's Judith P. Hoyer Early Learning Center, Robinson said. There, residents will mark on maps what areas they want to see allocated for development or recreation.

The city of Bowie's Green Infrastructure Strategy Plan, introduced in 2003, was revised and approved by its City Council in September 2007. Community Planner Elizabeth Chaisson said 12 action plans were established, such as the "Stream Team" program, in which residents volunteer to clean up streams such as the Mill Stream branch behind Bowie High School during "Gorgeous Prince George's Days."

Chaisson said the city is working on an "Urban Forest Management Plan" to increase tree cover in the town and is waiting on satellite imagery of the town from the state's Department of Natural Resources to determine how many more trees are desired.

"Most of the land in the city is privately owned, and you do need to encourage people to plant trees in their private yards in order to increase the tree canopy," Chaisson said.

E-mail Natalie McGill at

Gazette, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008


     In April 2008, the Cheverly Town Council passed a resolution to establish a green infrastructure map and plan for the town. Local residents had the opportunity to provide initial input into a Cheverly Green Infrastructure Plan at Cheverly Day on May 17, during presentations on the plan and the mapping process. In June, the Town Council designated a steering committee to continue the effort and manage the process to produce a plan for presentation in mid to late 2009.

     The mission for the plan is to preserve, conserve, restore and sustain the natural environment of Cheverly and surrounding areas as an intact and healthy ecosystem through a community participatory process that balances the fulfillment of human needs and protection of the natural environment. The plan will help guide future development, redevelopment, and investment policy decisions in a proactive and sustainable manner within and around the Town of Cheverly.

     The steering committee includes ten members representing a broad spectrum of Cheverly community groups and constituencies. A subcommittee on outreach and education has been established to coordinate opportunities for engagement of local citizens and organizations to ensure that the final plan is well-informed by community input. The first public education and participation workshop will be held on November 12. Details will be announced in the November newsletter and via the Cheverly Cable TV channel.

     Additional subcommittees have been formed to address a variety of issues related to the plan, from science, to tree canopy, land management, financing, and more. Visit the Cheverly Green Infrastructure Plan website for details and links to information and resources about green infrastructure plans and their benefits for communities at:

Cheverly Newsletter -- October 2008