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Sterling Planet and WGL Energy Team Up with Chesapeake Bay Foundation to Plant Hundreds of Trees in Baltimore County

Posted on 4/29/2019 by
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Baltimore County, MD — In recognition of Earth Day this year, Sterling Planet and WGL Energy Services Inc., (WGL Energy) workers joined local students and Chesapeake Bay Foundation staff and volunteers on Saturday morning to plant hundreds of trees to create a forested stream buffer along a Jones Falls tributary in Pikesville.

Baltimore County, MD — In recognition of Earth Day this year, Sterling Planet and WGL Energy Services Inc., (WGL Energy) workers joined local students and Chesapeake Bay Foundation staff and volunteers on Saturday morning to plant hundreds of trees to create a forested stream buffer along a Jones Falls tributary in Pikesville.

More than 800 trees were planted to create approximately 2,500 feet of forested stream banks. The project aims to reduce soil erosion and downstream flooding in Jones Falls. The stream runs through Baltimore, flows into the Patapsco River, and ultimately into the Chesapeake Bay. Riparian forest buffers are one of the most cost-effective long-term management practices to reduce water runoff from farm fields.

WGL Energy and Sterling Planet also contributed $145,128.10 and $85,564.05, respectively, to the CBF-managed Carbon Reduction Fund.

In all, thousands of trees have been planted as part of the long-term partnership between CBF, WGL Energy, and Sterling Planet. Through WGL Enery’s CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets program, residential and commercial natural gas customers can offset the greenhouse gas emissions from their gas usage by purchasing carbon offsets sourced from local projects. The companies donate some of the proceeds from carbon offsets into a Carbon Reduction Fund (CRF) that CBF manages. CBF uses the Carbon Reduction Fund to implement projects such as this Pikesville planting and others that reduce greenhouse gases and improve water quality.

Saturday morning’s event took place at Butterbee Farm, which grows flowers. More than 40 students from the University of Maryland and other local colleges helped plant the trees with more than 30 WGL employees as well as CBF staff and volunteers.

 “This tree planting and the ongoing private investments in the Carbon Reduction Fund will help reduce greenhouse gases not only in Baltimore County, but throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” said CBF President Will Baker, who helped plant trees at the event. “Streamside forest buffers are one of the best practices for reducing pollution from farm fields. We thank Sterling Planet and WGL Energy for their leadership and support of this innovative program.”

Since the program launched in 2010 more than $1.6 million has been donated to the fund. CBF has used the money to plant about 30,000 trees on more than 150 acres—mostly along streams—as well as assist with the remediation and replanting of a vacant lot on Riggs Avenue in Baltimore.  Over their lifetime, the projects will sequester more than 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide, according to CBF estimates.

“At WGL Energy, we are always looking for innovative ways to bring environmentally-friendly energy solutions to our customers,” said Clint Zediak, Vice President of Sales at WGL Energy. “Our partnership with Sterling Planet and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation does just that. It allows our customers to reduce their own carbon footprint while simultaneously supporting the great efforts of CBF to help protect the Bay.”

“Sterling Planet is proud to work with WGL Energy through the CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets Program to provide the resources needed to make long-term environmentally beneficial projects such as this tree planting a reality,” said Alden Hathaway, Senior Vice President of Sterling Planet. “These trees and similar past projects undertaken by CBF using the Carbon Reduction Fund help improve regional air and water quality by reducing polluted runoff and sequestering carbon dioxide.”

About Chesapeake Bay Foundation:

Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the only independent 501(c)(3) organization dedicated solely to restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers. Across the six-state Chesapeake watershed, CBF sets the agenda, serves as a watchdog, and speaks out on behalf of the Chesapeake Bay to business, government, and the public. www.cbf.org

About WGL Energy:

WGL Energy delivers a full spectrum of energy offerings, including electricity, natural gas, renewable energy, carbon reduction, distributed generation and energy efficiency solutions provided by WGL Energy Services, Inc. and WGL Energy Systems, Inc. To learn more, visit us at www.wglenergy.com. Follow us @wglenergy on Twitter and WGL Energy on LinkedIn.

About Sterling Planet:

Sterling Planet delivers innovative energy solutions that benefit the environment. Since 2000, the Atlanta-based company has offered business and residential customers renewable energy certificates as an easy, affordable way to reduce the impact of everyday electricity use. The comprehensive portfolio of solutions has since grown to include carbon offsets, energy efficiency solutions, and green power project development. Learn more at www.sterlingplanet.com, and follow us @SterlingPlanet on Twitter and Sterling Planet on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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