Volunteers plant bald cypress trees on Salisbury riverbank


Not quite a dozen members of the Wicomico Environmental Trust got up early Saturday morning, April 24, and headed to Downtown Salisbury to catch the Wicomico River at low tide. Two hours later, 10 bald cypress trees had been carefully prepared and planted along the riverbank.

Among them were three generations of Stegmans – Charlie Stegman and his son, Neil, who brought along his own young daughter, Annie. They were joined by Charlie’s wife Carolyn, WET board members Judith Hearthway, Dan O’Hare, Alyssa Hastings and John Groutt, and WET members Barry Johanssen, Becky Emery and Wicomico County Council member Josh Hastings.

“These trees are being planted for future generations,” said Stegman. “Most of us, except my granddaughter Annie, will not live to see these tiny trees mature.”

The seeds for this event were planted several years ago, when Stegman noticed the bald cypress growing in the median strip of Route 13 near Fruitland, between Bateman Street and the bypass south of Fruitland. And while the trees were put into the ground by just a few individuals who came before 7 a.m. to ensure the job would be done before the tide rose again and covered the strip of land where the plantings would take place, it took a good deal of behind-the-scenes maneuvering to make sure it could happen.

Alyssa Hastings, who is the city’s Sustainability Coordinator, spoke with Salisbury Parks Division Supervisor Doug Draper and Amanda Pollack, Director of Salisbury’s Infrastructure and Development Department.

Stegman’s son, Neil, went with his father the day before the planting to dig holes using a power auger, which made the morning’s workload much lighter. The trees were procured by Stegman with assistance from WET President Madeleine Adams.