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Maryland Forest Service Names 2023 Tree Farm and Tree Farm Inspector of the Year

Presentations Made on Maryland Arbor Day

Photo of four people with sign that reads 2023 Maryland Tree Farm of the Year

The Grove family were honored in Maryland Senate chambers. Photo by Anthony Burrows, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

As part of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ annual recognition of outstanding individuals in the forest products industry, Don and Linda Grove of Hagerstown were honored for Tree Farm of the Year and state project forester Lucas Marcek was named Tree Farm Inspector of the Year. The Department of Natural Resources Forest Service and the Maryland Tree Farm Committee presented the awards in the chambers of the General Assembly on Maryland Arbor Day, April 5.

The Maryland Senate honored the Groves family, who have maintained their certified tree farm for 35 years, beginning with the planting of 25 acres of pines in 1980. In 1990, Don Grove attended a workshop that was the forerunner of the Woodland Stewards Program, now available from the University of Maryland Extension. Food plots, hedgerows, fruit trees, and cover areas have all been implemented since. Today, the Grove Tree Farm serves as a demonstration for this workshop every year. As a result of their efforts, the Groves have noticed an increase in local tree plantings and improved wildlife habitat on the neighboring properties along Conococheague Creek.

Photo of man in a forest

Lucas Marcek, Maryland Forest Service.

In the House chamber, a citation was presented to Lucas Marcek of the Maryland Forest Service for a dual honor, being named both 2023 Maryland Tree Farm Inspector of the Year and also the American Forest Foundation’s Northeast Regional Inspector of the Year. Marcek is currently responsible for implementing the Tree Farm program in Worcester County, and he previously worked in Charles and Somerset counties. Since 2018, Marcek inspected 84 tree arms on 10,436 acres, enrolled nine new Tree Farms, nominated a Tree Farmer of the Year, and participated in two tree farm Assessments. He was presented the American Forest Foundation award in March while representing Maryland at the American Tree Farm System National Leadership Conference in Gulf Shores, Alabama.