A prominent group of retired statesmen, led by former U.S. Sen. Charles M. Mathias of Maryland, will gather at 10 a.m. April 7 at Washington College in Chestertown, MD to participate in a dialogue on the origins of the Bay Program.

Mathias, whose efforts in 1975 led to the creation of the Chesapeake Bay Program, will be joined by Harry Hughes, Maryland’s former governor; Joseph Gartlan, former Virginia senator; Tayloe Murphy former Virginia delegate; Bernard Fowler former Maryland senator; and George Wolff, of Pennsylvania, a member of the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

John Toll, president of Washington College, is the host for the dialogue, which will offer currently elected officials, public policy students and citizens the opportunity to pose questions to the invited guests.

The dialogue is sponsored by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the Center for the Environment in Society at Washington College, and the Chesapeake Bay Program. Although the dialogue is free and open to the public, tickets are required as space is limited. Call 410-377-6270 for information.

Maryland

Two volunteer opportunities are coming up in Maryland:

The Alliance and American Forest Global ReLeaf will plant 20,000 seedlings on Hart-Miller Island April 18–20 in an ongoing effort to reforest the island, which is the primary destination for dredged materials from the Bay, &altimore Harbor and its approach channels. The trees include loblolly pine, pitch pine, pin oak and green ash. Ten thousand trees were planted last year.

On May 12, Alliance staff will continue the large-scale planting of submerged aquatic vegetation near Solomons Island in an effort sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the U.S. Navy. We will be planting 1,500 plants and protective fencing and need certified scuba divers and others willing to get wet.

Contact the Baltimore office for details on either of these opportunities.

Pennsylvania

The Streemside™ Station was created last fall in Shutt Mill Park, near Harrisburg, as a grow-out station for 2,000 containerized native trees and shrubs. These seedlings will be distributed in a six-county area this spring to groups conducting streamside buffer plantings in their local watersheds.

Expanding on its mission of developing partnerships to improve the watershed, the Alliance staff last year joined up with four retail nurseries in three states to promote the use of native and beneficial plants and BayScaping techniques in home landscaping. At the same time, groups funded by the Alliance through mini-grants in partnership with the Pennsylvania Stream ReLeaf Program reforested more than 2.5 miles of streambanks. These grants help to reforest vulnerable riparian land and educate communities about the importance of streamside vegetation.

Virginia

The Alliance finalized a partnership last fall with the Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement that will use the volunteer talents of older adults to expand citizen involvement in protecting and caring for the Bay watershed. A signature project of the new partnership will be a BayScaping initiative at the Hillard House, a transitional housing program for women and children combining environmental stewardship, volunteerism, community gardening and vocational horticulture. Welcome to our new EASI partners!