Westminster, MD
03/28/2016 08:55 AM

McDaniel College has received a $25,000 grant from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to establish a forest mitigation bank at the Singleton-Matthews Farm. 


McDaniel is reforesting three-and-a-half acres of the college-owned farm as part of the Alliance’s “Chesapeake Forest Fund” program. Under this forest banking program, McDaniel has agreed to plant trees and maintain the land as a forest in perpetuity in exchange for the rights to sell credits to developers, who are required under the Maryland Forest Conservation Act to replace the trees cleared for development.


In other words, the college can sell the reforestation credits to developers who in turn can count the reforested acres as replacements for the trees removed in construction. The credit in Carroll County, Md., has been selling for about $13,000 per acre. By planting three-and-a-half acres, the college will recoup nearly $45,000 once the reforestation is certified by the county, typically about three years after the trees are planted. 


Additionally, McDaniel College will use the site as a learning laboratory where students can study forest restoration and the growth rate of trees, pond and stream ecology, and carbon mitigation. Environmental Studies classes regularly use the farm for research and restoration projects.


“It’s a win-win situation,” says Jason Scullion, assistant professor of environmental studies and assistant dean of Academic Affairs. “This project will benefit our students by increasing teaching and research opportunities at the farm — and it will enhance conservation and recreational resources for the McDaniel community, while restoring natural habitats and providing financial resources to the institution.”



In the course of three days, over 1000 trees will be planted on the Singleton-Matthews Farm, including white and northern red oak, tulip poplar, red maple, black gum, American plum, and persimmon species. The 60-acre farm, located off of Stone Chapel Road in Westminster, Md., was acquired by McDaniel College in the late-1980s. Approximately half of the land was gifted to the college in 1987 and the rest was purchased from Johns Hopkins University in 1988. After the sale of seven one-acre lots on the periphery of the property, the college recouped more than it paid for the property.


Founded in 1971, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, with headquarters in Annapolis, Md., and offices in Pennsylvania and Virginia, works throughout the Bay watershed to lead, inspire and support individuals, communities, governments, businesses and other environmental groups to restore the Bay and its watershed forests, rivers and streams though local action and hands on programs. For more information about the Alliance, visit


For more information about McDaniel College, visit

Cheryl Knauer
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