Chesapeake Bay Watershed Tree Canopy Funding and Policy Roundtable


In March 2023, 125 local and state leaders from across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed gathered at the two-day, virtual Chesapeake Bay Watershed Tree Canopy Funding and Policy Roundtable to discuss challenges and opportunities in advancing tree canopy goals. Centered around the themes of equity, climate resilience, and tree loss, this event featured expert presentations as well as facilitated discussions with the aim of helping local and state leaders identify funding, policy, and programmatic solutions to achieve state and regional tree goals.

The Roundtable event was informed by a series of strategy sessions in each Bay state and the District of Columbia. The goal of the yearlong project was to accelerate equitable, climate-resilient tree canopy implementation across the watershed. The Project Team and Steering Committee distilled findings from the Roundtable into a set of ten recommendations for the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership to consider in its near-term priorities and actions (see Report and Report Brief, below). In addition, Tree Canopy Action Plans were developed for each Bay state and DC, in collaboration with individuals from each respective jurisdiction who participated in strategies sessions before, during, and after the event. These plans highlight the tree canopy priorities that emerged through this process (see Jurisdiction Action Plans, below).  Event material and final project material are available below.  For more information about the event, please contact Brandy Espinola ( or Kristel Sheesley (  

For urban tree canopy resources, best practices, case stories, and connections, please join the Chesapeake Tree Canopy Network, an online resource hub and community of practice created to support the Tree Canopy Outcome and Strategy adopted in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement

Final Project Material

Chesapeake Bay Tree Canopy Roundtable - Report and Recommendations

Chesapeake Bay Tree Canopy Roundtable - Report Appendix

Chesapeake Bay Tree Canopy Roundtable - Recommendations Brief

Jurisdiction Action Plans:

Roundtable Outcomes Webinar (1/30/24): slides and recording

Roundtable Event Materials


Background information and speaker bios

Recorded presentations

Presentations: Day One

INTRODUCTION | Chesapeake Bay Watershed tree goals and progress

     Julie Mawhorter, USDA Forest Service slides

KEYNOTE | City of trees: Then, now, and in the future

     Earl Eutsler, District of Columbia Department of Transportation slides

PANEL | Branching out: Leveraging climate goals to achieve tree canopy outcomes

     Rachel Lamb, Maryland Department of the Environment slides

     Mark McPherson, City Forest Credits slides

     Beth Krumrine, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control slides

     Molly Hassett, New York Department of Environmental Conservation slides

FEATURED TOOL | Climate Health Action Guide, Vibrant Cities Lab

PANEL | Stemming the loss: Policy solutions for tree canopy protection

     Karen Firehock, Green Infrastructure Center slides

     Marian Honeczy, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service slides

     Vincent Verweij, Arlington County Parks and Natural Resources slides

     Katie Lautar, Baltimore Greenspace slides

FEATURED TOOL | Chesapeake Bay Watershed County Tree Cover Status & Change Factsheets

Presentations: Day Two

KEYNOTE  |  Mitigating urban heat threats through a community-driven framework

     Jeremy Hoffman, Virginia Science Museum and Sheri Shannon, Southside ReLeaf slides

PANEL  |  Rooted in equity: Ensuring tree canopy benefits for all 

     Erica Smith Fichman, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation slides

     Brenda Richardson, Anacostia Parks and Community Collaborative slides

     Ruby Stemmle, ecoLatinos slides

PANEL  |  No leaf unturned: Local strategies to drive action

     Frank Rodgers, Cacapon Institute

     Cody Kiefer, City of Lancaster, PA slides

     Ryan Alston, Baltimore Tree Trust slides

FEATURED TOOL | Tree Equity Score


Sponsors and Partners

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Tree Canopy Funding and Policy Roundtable project is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Goal Implementation Team (GIT) Funding Program.


  EPA logo     CBP logo     EFC logo     CBT logo     US Forest Service Logo


Semester / Year
2022 - Present

Team Members

Program / Center Affiliation