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History of Tree Planting in Mount Rainier

posted Jan 16, 2012, 9:51 AM by Gorav Seth   [ updated Jan 16, 2012, 10:04 AM by Gabriel Popkin ]

Thanks to Bryan Knedler for this information!

In 1970, the first of several “pocket parks” were constructed within the residential areas of Mount Rainier. These are small parks (some the size of two or three house lots) funded in part with federal “Parks in the Cities” funding. In 1976, the Mount Rainier Nature Center was opened in a house converted to that use in the 4200 block of 30th Street. This was the first such urban nature center in the county (later rebuilt off of Arundel Road near the proposed bioretention project). In 2010, the city applied for state Open Space funds to purchase two vacant lots adjacent to the city’s business district with the intention of creating a new pocket park for the heavily built city center which includes numerous apartment buildings. 

The City aggressively seeks grant dollars each year to fund the planting of street trees. In 1972, 100 red maples were planted along the streets. In 1989, 200 trees were planted as part of the first official celebration of Arbor Day in the city. In 1991, the State Highway Administration enlarged the median island of Rhode Island Avenue to allow for the planting of zelkova trees. The City planted 300 trees between 1990 and 1995 and since then, approximately 200 additional trees have been planted in city parks and along its streets.  For the centennial of Mount Rainier in 2010, 100 trees are being planted with city funding augmented with funds from the Prince George’s County ReLeaf Program and a grant from the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area Inc.  

In the 1991 Tree Planting by SHA, 11 Zelkovas “Green Vase” were planted by State Highway Admin. Along Rhode Island Ave. (we've replaced a couple over the years). 5 Redspire pears were also planted by SHA.  1993 ReLeaf grant of $5,000 purchased 21 honeylocusts, 6 gingkos, 3 halesia, 2 red oak, 4 nyssa, 6 golden rain.

In 2011, the Tree Commission wrote for a county ReLeaf grant that planted 35 (mostly native) trees, primarily in the area below Rhode Island Avenue, around Otis street.