Western Maryland 4-H Education Center – Project # 224

This cooperative project was designed to test the hybrid chestnuts developed by the American Chestnut Foundation – Maryland Chapter.  The site was desirable because of its elevation and topography, testing the hybrid in the coolest condition practical in Maryland.

On one acre 109 chestnuts were planted by hand in 20’x20’ spacing.  They used 2’ tall tree tubes to prevent browsing from voles and mice and an 8’ tall fence around the entire planting to keep the deer from browsing the seedlings.

This location offers great educational opportunities as each year 1,800 youth and adults attend resident camping programs at the Center.  Campers include 4-H members, after-school participants, school groups and families.  All groups take advantage of the surroundings to enjoy and learn about the environment.  Each year a naturalist is employed at the center to provide environmental education.

Campers learn about planting trees and several groups earned service hours by assisting with the planting of trees in their arboretum.

The land is owned by the University of Maryland, and Partner Organizations on this project were the Maryland Department of Natural Resources – Forest Service, and the Maryland Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation.