Saturday, May 31, 2014

Bye-Bye Trees at Wayside Elementary School #notjustPEPCO

Xs marks the spots where trees will be removed.
Neighborhoods are losing trees. 
Lots of trees.  And it's not just PEPCO that is removing them.  It's also MCPS.  

When MCPS "modernizes" a public school site they systematically wipe out the trees that have served as a neighborhood buffer for decades. 

Where do the trees go?  Sometimes there is a forest conservation area set up on the MCPS site. However, many times the trees are removed from the neighborhood public school site and a separate site is temporarily reforested elsewhere in the county.   

The temporary sites aren't cheap. The Board of Education has to pay a developer big bucks to "hold" trees elsewhere in the County.  Here's an example of the BOE spending $284,310 for temporary trees to make up for the ones that the Paint Branch High School neighbors lost.  Where are the temporary trees?  Can the Paint Branch High School neighbors visit them?  

Here is the BOE spending $55,000 for the trees that the Hoover Middle School neighborhood lost.  We found these trees up in Poolesville.  Although, the developer only has to plant the trees and maintain them for a few years. Whatever happens to the trees after the initial few years is up to nature. Maybe they will survive, maybe they won't. Who cares?

On June 5, 2014, the Wayside Elementary School neighborhood will say good-bye to .36 acres of forest in their neighborhood.  The forest will be moved "elsewhere" at a huge cost to the MCPS budget.

Montgomery County Planning Board:
11  -  POTOMAC, Wayside Elementary School Revitalization and Modernization - Preliminary Forest Conservation Plan and Mandatory Referral, in R-200 Zone at 10011 Glen Rd.

1.04 acres of forest exist in the northwest corner of the site. Encroachments beyond the existing developed area include improvements to the stormwater management outfall and existing trail. This will result in a total of 0.36 acres of forest loss. 
There are eight (8) Protected Trees in the project area that will be impacted and one that will be removed. All of these trees are located along the perimeter of the school property. Redevelopment of the already developed school site, together with encroachment into the perimeter forest area, creates the impact to the trees.


  1. Janis, thanks for posting. The county council has identified 5 candidates for Planning Board chair. The council will be interviewing them on Tuesday, July 8th. If you think neighborhood trees are important, please email the council and tell them to ask this question of the candidates. This is really up to the voters.

  2. There are other applicants for Planning Board Chair but the Council is apparently choosing to only interview these five. I think most of them are pro-development. Watch out trees!

  3. Do the applicants have trees at their residences?
    Do the applicants understand the function of trees?
    Do the applicants visit the sites prior making critical decisions?


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