High Winds Result in Swan Point Walnut Harvest - Southern Maryland Headline News

High Winds Result in Swan Point Walnut Harvest

Children's Community Collection Effort Will Help The Chesapeake Bay

SWAN POINT, Md., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/—Winds gusting to 35 miles per hour last week in Swan Point, Maryland have deposited thousands of walnuts on the ground from the scores of walnut trees in the community. Residents have been advised not to throw the walnuts away! They have great potential value to the state of Maryland.

"One of our residents alerted me that walnut trees can assist cleaning the Chesapeake Bay," says Ken Robinson, President of the Swan Point Property Owners Association. An email alert from Robinson to the community of about one thousand people resulted in a large turnout of neighborhood children who collected the walnuts in multi-gallon trash bags. The Swan Point Property Owners Association Site Office is the temporary repository of the hundreds of bags of walnuts which have thus far been collected. The bags will be delivered later in the month to the La Plata office of The Maryland Forest Service, a division of the Department of Natural Resources. Swan Point is located on the Potomac River in Charles County.

Every year, about 6 million seedlings are grown from walnuts at the John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery, located near the town of Preston in Caroline County. About 47 conifer, hardwood, and shrub species, mostly native to Maryland, are grown. Many of these seedlings are planted along streams as part of Maryland's Stream ReLeaf buffer planting program, and will help improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

"This is a great opportunity for our children to perform a community service plus teach them about reforestation," says Jill Mote, a mother of three who helped coordinate the community-wide effort to collect the walnuts.

The state of Maryland supports the project; "These walnuts may be small and insignificant now, but as they grow they become part of the key to a sustainable future," says Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service Director Steve Koehn. "Trees are not only beautiful to look at and improve the visual landscape, but they contribute to the health and vitality of the Bay, its tributaries and our natural resources."

Robinson says the walnut collecting will continue through the end of October, by which time most of the walnuts will have dropped from the trees.

Source: Swan Point Property Owners Association

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