DPSCS is committed to using our available inmate work crews to make an impact on Maryland’s environment. Governor O’Malley initiated Smart, Green and Growing in 2008 pulling together state and local government, businesses and citizens in an effort to work toward a vision for a smarter, greener, more sustainable State.
Not only will this effort beautify Maryland and provide invaluable environmental benefits for generations to come, it also provides a restorative justice opportunity for our offender work crews who learn transferable job skills while reintegrating into society.
GOAL: One Million Trees
As part of the Marylanders Plant Trees initiative, DPSCS has set a goal of planting one million trees throughout Maryland using inmate labor. We began this effort on Arbor Day of 2008, and through June of 2009 our total has reached 200,000.
The trees are beautifying local communities and parks, as well as roadways. DPSCS partnered with Howard County in 2008 for example, planting 1,000 seedlings at the Patuxent Institution to eventually be transplanted around the county. A fall 2009 planting included over 400 trees for the General’s Highway Corridor Park in conjunction with Anne Arundel County. Additional trees have been planted as saplings across the state on institution farms to be cared for by resident inmates until they are mature enough to be replanted in permanent locations.
DPSCS teamed up with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to build 1,000 cages in 2008 can we add – as part of Marylanders Grow Oysters. The cages were given to citizens living along the Tred Avon River to use their own piers to help rejuvenate oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay. Inmates at the Eastern Correctional Institution crafted the cages out of materials supplied by DNR. In 2009, Maryland Correctional Enterprises (MCE) took over the construction of these cages to increase the number available to citizens in 11 new tributaries who are willing to partake.
Maryland Correctional Enterprises also collects seeds to harvest and grow native bay grasses in conjunction with DNR/MES/MPA/USACE at a greenhouse in Western Maryland. In June of 2009 crews planted over 38,000 plants along the Chesapeake Bay. Fencing to keep out animals such as geese that can inhibit the grasses growth was also installed.
Our DOC Pre-release system embarked on a recycling project in 2008 that kept several tons of debris out of our landfills. 70,000 bricks from the dilapidated Baltimore Coliseum were collected, cleaned and stored to be re-used for projects such as signage around our Department, as well as the state. DPSCS also donated 125 tons of quarried stone to the Poffenberger Farm restoration project at Antietam National Battlefield.
DPSCS has partnered with DNR and local environmental agencies all over the state to benefit Maryland’s parks.
Crews cleared/maintained four miles of trails in Western Maryland, built bear-proof campers’ enclosures in Garrett County, and helped maintain boats and buoys on Eastern Shore waterways. They have also completed roofing work at New Germany and Elk Neck State Parks. Graffiti and trash were removed from Dan’s Rock Overlook, and a new retaining wall was constructed.
In Queen Anne’s County, inmates laid 96,000 square feet of sod and built four playing fields in a park near Chestertown.
- Marylanders Grow Oysters Helps Connect People to Bay - Edgewater-Davidsonville Patch 04/18/11
- MD Citizens Surpass Tree Planting Goal - TheBayNet.com 01/13/11
- Citizen Oyster Growing Project Expands from 12 to 19 Rivers - TheBayNet.com 09/19/10
- Inmates baby oysters - Southern MD News 08/18/10
- IInmates Help Restore Native Oysters To Bay - WJZ-13 08-12-10
- Inmates Help Maryland Go Green – WJZ TV 04/21/10
- Inmates Help State Go “Green” – WMAR/AP 04/08/10
- Inmate Help Grow Oysters – Star Democrat 09/30/09
- Prisoners Help Restock Waters with Spat at Piney Point Aquaculture Center – Southern MD News 08/28/09
- Severn River Home Owners Become Oyster Caretakers – The Capital 08/28/09
- Oyster Cages Delivered To Marylanders – WBAL.com 08/27/09
- First Volunteer Grown MD Oysters Transplanted – AP 08/11/09
- Inmates Make Oyster Cages to Boost Bay – Herald-Mail 07/31/09
- Maryland Moves Forward with One Million Tree Initiative – Southern MD Online 6/8/09
- Inmates Plant Seeds to Stop Erosion on MD Island – WJZ 06/04/09
- Inmates Help Restore Chesapeake Bay – Herald-Mail 05/22/09
- Tree-planting campaign provides job skills for Maryland inmates – Herald-Mail.com 04/03/08
- ECI inmates take part in Arbor Day plantings – delmarvanow.com 04/03/08
- Prison Inmates Plant Trees In Celebration Of Arbor Day – your4state.com 04/02/08
- 200,000 in the ground through FY09
- Goal = 1 million by 2011
- 38,000 bay grasses planted by inmates on Eastern Shore, most harvested and grown by MCE
- 5,000 oyster cages built by inmates for Marylanders Grow Oysters