On a sunny afternoon a few weeks ago, the Harford One Water Partnership gathered at Bel Air United Methodist Church to explore Champion Trees throughout the county which are located on congregational property.

So what is a Champion Tree? Champion trees are the largest known tree of a given species in a particular geographic area. The size is determined by measuring the height of the tree, circumference of the trunk, and crown spread of the branches. Depending on the species, some champions are exceptionally large trees, and some champions are rather small. Champions can be recognized on a county, state, or national level. 

In total, we visited 10 trees. The first three were located at Bel Air United Methodist Church - a Black Walnut, European Larch, and a Sassafras. Then we traveled over to St Ignatius Church and learned about their Austrian Pine, which is a Maryland Bicentennial Tree, which means it is thought to have been alive since the 1700s! Next stop was Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, with the edible Littleleaf Linden!

Our final stop was at St George’s Episcopal Church - this location boasts 5 Champion Trees! Specifically, an American Beech, Sugar Maple, Pitch Pine, Southern Crabapple, and Northern White Cedar. Learning about these old, magnificent trees is a reminder that the benefits from tree planting are numerous, and if cared for will outlast all of us. A big thanks to our partners, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay for their expertise in planning and hosting the walk!


Are you ready to host your own tree planting? Or perhaps take on another type of project at your congregation? Or maybe you are just getting started and would like to learn from other congregations. Regardless of where you are at, you will find resources to help you take your next step at our upcoming Harford Eco-Fest!

Join us on Sunday June 26th from 2-4PM at Highland Presbyterian Church (Street, MD) for a festival celebrating creation in Harford County! Eco-Fest will feature many fun activities including:

  • free native seeds giveaway,
  • a native garden tour,
  • build your own bird feeder,
  • a guided bird watch,
  • Creation Care Bingo,
  • Feather Forensics,
  • face-painting,
  • educational demonstrations,
  • visits with some critter friends,
  • games,
  • educational demonstrations,
  • and so much more! 

At this family-friendly event, you will meet local groups caring for our shared resources, network with local nature camps and environmental groups for future ministry planning, and learn about how your congregation can secure grant funding for environmental project.

Register here today!


Contact The Rev. Chasity Wiener at [email protected] or 443.876.9084 for more information.